PRINCETON, NJ – Forward Mike Szmatula will represent the Adirondack Thunder at the 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic Monday, January 21 at Huntington Center in Toledo, OH. The game will air LIVE exclusively on NHL Network.
Szmatula, 26, has 24 points (14g-10a) in 30 ECHL games played this season and his 14 tallies ties him for the Thunder lead. The 5-foot-9 forward’s 24 total points ranks second on Adirondack this year while he ranks fourth among all rookie skaters in the league in goals scored. Szmatula’s trio of multi-goal efforts paces the Thunder thus far on the season.
The Commerce Township, MI native earned his first-career American Hockey League call-up late in December when he skated in a pair of games for the Stockton Heat.
For the second consecutive year, the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic will feature a 3-on-3 tournament with four teams competing for the top spot. New in 2019, the host team will make up two of the four teams and face-off against the other two teams made up of All-Star players from the Eastern and Western Conferences. These four teams will compete in a 3-on-3 tournament with rally scoring in order to crown a winner. The 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place in between rounds of the tournament, highlighting the talents of the ECHL players, and showcasing the future of hockey as they develop in the league.
There have been 67 players from the ECHL All-Star Game that have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 51 since 2002 when lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
The rosters for the Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Stars were determined in a vote of coaches, team captains, media relations directors, broadcasters and members of the media.
Eastern Conference All-Stars AlternatesG – Mitch Gillam, Worcester Railers F – Brett McKenzie, Atlanta Gladiators D – Dajon Mingo, Jacksonville Icemen D – Jalen Smereck, Norfolk AdmiralsD – Sean Day, Maine Mariners F – Brent Pedersen, Orlando Solar BearsD – David Kolomatis, Manchester Monarchs F – Steven Swavely, Reading RoyalsF – Mike Szmatula, Adirondack ThunderF – David Pacan, Brampton BeastF – Joe Cox, Florida EverbladesF – Johno May, Greenville Swamp RabbitsF – Giorgio Estephan, Newfoundland GrowlersF – Jonathan Charbonneau, South Carolina Stingrays
Western Conference All-Stars AlternatesG – Tomas Sholl, Idaho Steelheads G – Evan Fitzpatrick, Tulsa OilersD – Alex Breton, Allen Americans F – Caleb Herbert, Utah GrizzliesD – Neil Manning, Indy FuelD – Kevin Spinozzi, Wheeling NailersF – Vasili Glotov, Cincinnati CyclonesF – Justin Hodgman, Fort Wayne KometsF – Justin Taylor, Kalamazoo WingsF – Jared VanWormer, Kansas City MavericksF – Andrew Radjenovic, Rapid City RushF – Steven Iacobellis, Wichita Thunder
The 12th class of the ECHL Hall of Fame will be officially inducted at a luncheon, presented by BFL CANADA and Sutton Special Risk, on Sunday, January 20 at 1 p.m. at the SeaGate Center, in conjunction with the Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame, presented by Cooper Tire.
Anchored by the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, there will be multiple activities that showcase the Toledo community including the All-Star Fanfest in Hensville Park and All-Star Winter Brewfest at Fifth Third Field. The Hall of Fame luncheon will be followed by a regular-season matchup between the Walleye and the Fort Wayne Komets at the Huntington Center.
The Thunder have an action-packed week with four games that starts with the conclusion of their seven-game homestand tomorrow evening against the Manchester Monarchs. Adirondack will then head to Reading for a Wednesday-night showdown with the Royals before playing the Newfoundland Growlers for a pair this weekend in St. John’s, NL. For the latest Thunder news, be sure to follow the team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ECHLThunder.
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