AHL ALL-STAR CLASSIC | Skills Competition, Laval, Laval Rocket, Alex Belzile, Anthony Richard, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media
LAVAL, QC — After finishing their road trip in Toronto, the Laval Rocket found themselves on a short holiday break while their home arena of Place Bell is hosting the American Hockey League’s annual All-Star Classic. The weekend began on Sunday with the Skills Competition featuring player representatives from all teams.
Forwards Anthony Richard and Alex Belzile represented the Laval Rocket. Belzile was added to the roster to replace teammate Justin Barron as the defenceman is currently with the Montreal Canadiens.
Puck Control Relay
The night began with the Inglasco Puck Control Relay. Each team obtained two goals in this event as the teams split the 3-against-3 heats. The Syracuse Crunch’s Alex Barre-Boulet and Bakersfield Condor Seth Griffith won the individual heats.
The second event was the CCM Fastest Skater. Hershey Bear Ethen Frank set a new AHL record of 12.915 seconds, surpassing the previous mark of 13.251 seconds by Anthony Greco in 2019. Richard finished third with a time of 13.322 seconds.
The Eastern Conference added a goal to their lead in the next competition of the evening, the AHLTV Rapid Fire. In his round, Belzile scored three times on five shots against Calgary Wranglers goaltender Dustin Wolf.
Next up was the CCM Hardest Shot competition. Syracuse Crunch defenceman Darren Raddysh stole the show with his two attempts registering at 101.8 mph and 102 mph. Raddysh’s shot contributed to the Eastern Conference’s average, allowing them to add two goals in this event.
The fifth event was the Rona Accuracy Shooting. Rockford Icehogs forward David Gust went a perfect 4-in-4 and got his team a goal. The Western Conference obtained the second goal as their team outperformed their opponents.
Pass and Score
For the Rona Pass and Score event, three players had 27 seconds to attempt to score three goals on the opposing goalie. Each individual goal counted toward the overall team score.
The trio of Riley Nash, Frank and Belzile went a perfect three-for-three, with Laval’s forward netting two of the goals. Richard’s trio scored the other two goals for the Eastern Conference. The Western Conference scored twice on their opponents.
The night concluded with the Upper Deck Breakaway Relay. Mateo Dumont, the eight-year old son of Syracuse Crunch forward Gabriel Dumont, won the hearts of everyone at Place Bell as he took his dad’s spot in the event and beat San Diego Gulls goaltender Lukas Dostal. Richard and Belzile both missed their breakaway attempts.
The Eastern Conference won the overall event 16-10. The CCM Top Goaltender honor was awarded to Toronto Marlies goaltender Joseph Woll.
The All-Star Classic game will take place on Monday at Place Bell, pitting the Eastern and Western Conference teams against each other in a three-on-three tournament.
AHL Report correspondent Chris G. caught up with both of the Laval players before and after the event. You can listen to their full interviews in the player below!
Anthony Richard Before Skills Competition
Anthony Richard After Skills Competition
Alex Belzile Before Skills Competition
Alex Belzile After Skills Competition