ONTARIO - As the rain fell outside Citizens Business Bank Arena on Wednesday night, two members of the Ontario Reign got a rise out of the crowd.
Peter Lenes and defenseman David Walker scored for the National Conference, which struck five times in the second period.
The game was decided in a shootout when Jacob Micflikier, Maxime Gratchev, and Justin Donati scored and gave the American Conference a 10-9 victory.
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Terry Pierson / The Press-Enterprise
The American Conference's Matt Schepke scores against National Conference goalie Richard Bachman in the second period of the ECHL All-Star game Wednesday.
The game was tied six times before the American Conference won the shootout by a 3-1 margin.
Evan Barlow, of the Utah Grizzlies, scored two goals for the National Conference to earn the Most Valuable Player honors for the game.
The style of play was pretty much end-to-end hockey without much of the physical contact that is typical in hockey games.
"This is for the fans and a chance to showcase our skills," said Walker, who was the captain of the National Conference team. "I think toward the end of the game there was more of a concern about defense and it became more like a regular game."
Timo Pielmeier, of the Bakersfield Condors, was the sharpest goaltender of the evening. Pielmeier, who has a contract with the Anaheim Ducks, allowed two goals in the second period but made five outstanding saves, including two with opposing players alone in front of the net.
"It was like a rebound drill in practice," Pielmeier said.
The Ducks do not have an affiliate in the American Hockey League, and Pielmeier seems satisfied that he is playing in the ECHL this season.
"I'm getting to play every game and I'm only 20 years old. I think I showed that I'm signed with Anaheim for a reason."
Marty Raymond, the Bakersfield coach who was a co-coach of the National Conference squad, said he thought Pielmeier should have been the game's MVP.
"Barlow was phenomenal, but Pielmeier played an unbelievable game," Raymond said. "We has so much poise."
Pielmeier said he wasn’t terribly concerned about impressions scouts might have taken away, citing his youth and belief in his own ability. At age 30, Walker accepts the fact that scouts might not look seriously at him.
"I'm nine or 10 years older than some of these guys, and I'm not showcasing my skills," said Walker, who played in his first professional all-star game.
American Conference wins shootout, 3-1
1st Period--American, Sam Roberts 1 (Jacob Micflikier, Ben Gordon); 4:53; National, Judd Blackwater 1 (Nick Mazzolini, Adam Miller) 8:26; American, Matt Schepke 1 (Rick Cleaver) 11:08 (pp); National, Nick Mazzolini 1 (A. J. Perry) 13:59; American, Connor Shields 1 (Maxime Gratchev, Matt Pierce) 17:05.
2nd Period--National, Peter Lenes 1 (Shawn Weller, Chris D'Alvise) 1:37; National, Vic Bartley 1 (Nick Mazzolini) 2:21; National, Donald Walker (John Swanson, Evan Barlow) 3:33; National, Evan Barlow 1 (Adam Miller); American, Matt Schepke 2 (Maxime Tanguay, Nikita Kashirsky) 13:13; American, Rick Cleaver 1 (Sam Roberts) 18:14; National, Adam Miller 1 (Vic Bartley) 19:52.
3rd Period--American, Drew Paris 1 (Matt Pierce) 3:11; American, Brandon Buck 1 (Nikita Kashirsky, Jeff Prough) 5:58; National, Evan Barlow 2 (Vic Bartley) 6:13; American, Prough 1 (Mitch Ganzak, A. J. Thelen) 10:46; National, Adam Miller 2 (Evan Barlow) 13:25; American, Connor Shields 2 (Matt Pierce, Maxime Gratchev) 17:24.
Shootout--American, Jackob Mickflker Yes: Maxime Gratchev No; Mitch Ganzak Yes; Justin Donati (Elmira Jackals) Yes. National, Judd Blackwater (Stockton Reign) No; Vic Bartley No; Ryan Kinasweich (Utah Grizzlies) No; Evan Barlow Yes.
SHOTS ON GOAL--AMERICAN CONFERENCE 17 14 17 0 – 49. NATIONAL CONFERENCE 9 20 8 1 -- 38
GOALTENDERS--AMERICAN CONFERENCE: Todd Ford (South Carolin Stingrays) 9 shots, 7 saves; Braden Holtby (South Carolina Stingrays) 20 shots, 15 saves; Jeremy Smith (Cincinnati Cyclones) 10 shots, 8 saves. NATIONAL CONFERENCE: David Shantz (Victoria Salmon Kings) 17 shots, 15 saves; Timo Pielmeier (Bakersfield Condors) 14 shots, 12 saves; Richard Bachman (Idaho Steelheads) 17 shots, 13 saves.