SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Chicago Wolves captain Pat Cannone scored 3 goals and defenseman Andre Benoit posted 1 goal and 2 assists as the Central Division won the inaugural AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday night at Onondaga County War Memorial Arena.
Cannone clinched Most Valuable Player honors during the Central Division’s 4-0 title-game victory over the Atlantic Division. After Benoit set up the game ’s opening goal, Cannone stickhandled through the middle and lifted a shot top-shelf.
The AHL’s new All-Star format featured the league’s four divisions playing a round-robin to determine which teams advanced to the finals. The nine-minute games featured 4 minutes, 30 seconds of 4-on-4 action before shifting to 3-on-3 play.
In the Central Division’s opener against the Atlantic Division, Cannone opened the scoring with a breakaway goal with 3:30 left. After the Atlantic made it 1-1 in the final second, Cannone delivered the only shootout tally to give the Central a 2-1 win.
Cannone produced the first goal in the Central Division’s second game as well. Benoit followed by setting up Jake Dowell’s first goal to trigger the Central’s 4-2 win over the North and clinched a spot in the championship game.
Benoit scored his first goal during the Central Division’s 5-4 loss to the Pacific in the final round-robin game.
Cannone also excelled during Sunday’s All-Star Skills Competition. He took home the Accuracy Shooting crown as he needed just four shots to break the targets in each corner of the net.
After the All-Star Break ends, the Wolves start the second half Friday at Iowa. The team returns home on Saturday, Feb. 6, to face the Iowa Wild on Military Appreciation Night, presented by Sears Home Services. To get the best deals on group tickets, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.