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Idaho's Hay, Gwinnett's Schell Named All-Star Captains

January 11, 2007 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release

PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL announced that Brad Schell of the Gwinnett Gladiators will be the team captain for the American Conference and that Darrell Hay of the host Idaho Steelheads will be the team captain for the National Conference in the 2007 Rbk Hockey ECHL All-Star Game.

The alternate captains for the American Conference will be Kevin Baker of the Texas Wildcatters and Greg Hogeboom of the Reading Royals. The alternate captains for the National Conference will be Luke Curtin of the Fresno Falcons and Beau Geisler of the Stockton Thunder.

Sponsored by Rbk Hockey and hosted by the Idaho Steelheads at Qwest Arena in Boise, Idaho, the 15th Annual ECHL All-Star Game will be at 7:05 p.m. MT on Jan. 17 and the 10th Annual ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will be at 7:05 p.m. MT on Jan. 16.

It is the first All-Star appearance and start for both Schell, who leads the league with 50 assists and 65 points in 34 games, and Hay, who leads Idaho defensemen with 15 assists and 18 points in 34 games and who helped the Steelheads capture the Kelly Cup Championship in 2004.

Curtin is the alternate captain for the second year in a row and was the captain for the National Conference in 2005 while Geisler is making his first appearance and start in an All-Star Game. Curtin is making his third consecutive start and his fourth start overall while playing in his fifth All-Star Game which is the second most in league history behind Chris Valicevic, who appeared in seven games (1994 and 1996-2001). Curtin was named the Most Valuable Player at the 2006 All-Star Game after scoring two goals in 20 seconds, the third-fastest two goals scored in an All-Star Game, in the first 45 seconds of the third period to give the National Conference a 5-2 lead on its way to a 7-6 win.

It is the second consecutive All-Star Game selection for Hogeboom, who was called up to Manchester of the American Hockey League a year ago and unable to play in the game, and the first All-Star appearance and first start for Baker.

The league officially changed its name to ECHL on May 19, 2003.

The Premier 'AA' Hockey League, the ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League in 2006-07. There have been 312 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including a record 47 in 2005-06. There have been 167 players who have played in the NHL after the ECHL in the past five seasons.

The ECHL was represented for the sixth consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team, including Carolina Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette, who is the first ECHL coach to win the Stanley Cup.

The ECHL has affiliations with 24 of the 27 teams in the American Hockey League in 2006-07 and for the past 17 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup champion. The ECHL has had more players called up to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined each of the past four seasons with 1,646 call ups involving almost 1,000 players.

The ECHL raised its average attendance for the third straight year in 2005-06 drawing 3,934,794 for 900 games which is an average of 4,372 per game, an increase of more than nine percent from 2004-05 and the largest per-game average since 1999-2000. Six teams surpassed 200,000 and nine teams averaged 5,000 per game for the first time since 1999-2000 as the league welcomed 39 sellout crowds and 13 of the 22 returning teams raised their average attendance from a year ago.

In 2005-06 the ECHL and its member teams contributed more than $2.3 million for charity and relief funds, including those benefiting victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, while also making thousands of appearances by players, coaches, team personnel and mascots at schools, hospitals, libraries and charity functions.

Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at

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