Over the last two weekends, the top male and female hockey players on the planet gathered for the All Star Games of the CWHL, KHL and NHL, with International Hockey Lineal Champions abound showcasing their talents.
Starting with the CWHL All-Star Game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, it was Julie Chu’s (🇺🇸) Team Black that defeated Natalie Spooner’s (🇨🇦) Team White 5-1, using the “fantasy draft” format to determine teams. Marie-Philip Poulin (🇨🇦), who has a penchant for scoring big goals in pairs, struck with two, along with singles for IHLC winners Jillian Saulnier (🇨🇦) and Hayley Wickenheiser (🇨🇦). Half of the 38 players that dressed have held the IHLC at least once.
A more traditional “East vs. West” format was on hand in Moscow for the eighth KHL All-Star Game, being showcased in the new VTB Ice Palace. Crushing All-Star Game scoring records, it was the West prevailing by a stunning score of 28-23, with Sergei Mozyakin (🇷🇺) leading the way with 6 goals on the evening. Other prominent IHLC holders making an impact were Danis Zaripov (🇷🇺) and Stéphane Da Costa (🇫🇷) with four goals each, as well as a hat trick for Vadim Shipachyov (🇷🇺), and a 6 assist night for Alexander Radulov (🇷🇺). When it was all said and done, 22 of the game’s 51 goals were scored by IHLC winners, who combined for a total of 48 points.
And lastly, at the 61st NHL All-Star Game in Nashville, it was new format on display at the Bridgestone Arena, with a 3-on-3 tournament between the league’s four divisions being held for the first time. First, the Atlantic Division defeated the Metropolitan Division 4-3 to represent the East in the final, with P.K. Subban (🇨🇦) netting the winner late in the game. Then, the Pacific Division defeated the Central Division by a 9-6 final, with pairs of goals for Daniel Sedin (🇸🇪), Taylor Hall (🇨🇦) and unlikely team captain John Scott (🇨🇦). And in the final, it was the game’s only goal, a Corey Perry (🇨🇦) tally, that stood as the winner, with the Pacific edging out the Atlantic 1-0 to win the tournament for the Western Conference, and the $1 million prize.
Regular season play will now resume on both sides of the globes, in the lead-up to the chase for the Clarkson, Gagarin and Stanley Cups, respectively, as well as the women’s and men’s World Championship tournaments in the spring.