ONTARIO, Calif. … Hershey Bears goaltender Vitek Vanecek allowed only two goals over parts of four games to earn Most Valuable Player honors and help the Atlantic Division to victory in the 2020 AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday night.
The AHL All-Star Challenge is a round-robin tournament among the league’s four divisions, played at 3-on-3. The evening capped the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Ontario International Airport at Toyota Arena.
Vanecek, an All-Star for the second consecutive year, and Charlotte Checkers goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic combined to lead the Atlantic Division to a 3-1 victory over the Central Division in the championship game. Jack Studnicka of the Providence Bruins and Vinni Lettieri of the Hartford Wolf Pack each recorded three points in the final as the Atlantic captured its first Challenge title after losing in the championship game in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
Western Conference All-Star captain Matthew Ford of the Grand Rapids Griffins scored four goals on the night for the Central Division. Defenseman Kale Clague of the hometown Ontario Reign led the Pacific Division with six points (one goal, five assists). For the North Division, Binghamton Devils forward Joey Anderson led all scorers with seven points on the evening (three goals, four assists) and Toronto Marlies forward Jeremy Bracco added two goals and four assists.
The All-Star Challenge featured 18 former first- or second-round NHL draft picks, and 18 players who have skated in the National Hockey League already this season.
The road to the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs continues when the American Hockey League’s 84th season resumes on Friday.
2020 AHL All-Star Challenge Results
Game 1 – Pacific Division 6, North Division 5 (SO)
Game 2 – Central Division 3, Atlantic Division 1
Game 3 – Central Division 6, North Division 5
Game 4 – Atlantic Division 3, Pacific Division 2
Game 5 – Atlantic Division 5, North Division 2
Game 6 – Pacific Division 5, Central Division 4 (SO)
Championship – Atlantic Division 3, Central Division 1