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Matthew Peca Named 2018 AHL All-Star

January 8, 2018 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Syracuse Crunch News Release

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The American Hockey League has announced forward Matthew Peca will represent the Syracuse Crunch on the North Division team at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino. The annual event will be held Jan. 28 - 29 at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, New York.

Peca, 24, has appeared in all 33 games with the Crunch this season. He paces the team in both points (26) and assists (19). The Petawawa, Ontario native also leads the team with seven multi-point performances, including two three-point games, and is tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals. He tallied a career-high seven-game point streak (3g, 9a) from Dec. 9 through Dec. 27. The 5-foot-9, 178-pound center is in his third full season with Syracuse and is currently on the final year of his entry-level contract. Peca was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the seventh round, 201st overall, at the 2011 NHL Draft. This will be Peca's first AHL All-Star appearance.

Below is a complete list of the 2018 AHL All-Stars:

Atlantic Division

BRI - Sebastian Aho, Tanner Fritz

CHA - Valentin Zykov

HFD - John Gilmour

HER - Chris Bourque

LV - T.J. Brennan, Danick Martel

PRO - Jordan Binnington, Austin Czarnik

SPR - Alexandre Grenier

WBS - Casey DeSmith, Daniel Sprong

North Division

BEL - Gabriel Gagne

BNG - Bracken Kearns ("C"), Jacob MacDonald

LAV - Matt Taormina, Chris Terry

RCH - C.J. Smith, Linus Ullmark

SYR - Matthew Peca

TOR - Travis Dermott, Kasperi Kapanen

UTI - Reid Boucher, Thatcher Demko

Central Division

CHI - Brandon Pirri

CLE - Dean Kukan

GR - Matt Lorito, Matt Puempel

IA - Luke Kunin

MB - Michael Hutchinson, Jack Roslovic, Cameron Schilling

MIL - Anders Lindback, Emil Pettersson

RFD - Erik Gustafsson, Vinnie Hinostroza

Pacific Division

BAK - Ty Rattie

ONT - Cal Petersen, Brett Sutter ("C")

SA - Rocco Grimaldi, Jordan Schmaltz

SD - Andy Welinski

SJ - Antoine Bibeau

STK - Rasmus Andersson, Andrew Mangiapane

TEX - Curtis McKenzie

TUC - Nick Merkley, Dylan Strome

The 2018 rosters feature 37 first-time AHL All-Stars, seven former first-round draft choices and 12 more second-rounders. In addition, 25 of the All-Stars named have been recalled to the National Hockey League already this season, including standouts Kasperi Kapanen of the Toronto Marlies (Toronto), Daniel Sprong of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh), Luke Kunin of the Iowa Wild (Minnesota) and Dylan Strome and Nick Merkley of the Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona).

Also named to the All-Star rosters are Chicago Wolves forward Brandon Pirri, the MVP of the 2014 AHL All-Star Game; Lehigh Valley Phantoms defenseman T.J. Brennan, an All-Star for the fifth consecutive year; and 2018 United States Olympian Chris Bourque of the Hershey Bears, who would be making his record-tying sixth All-Star appearance.

Providence Bruins head coach Jay Leach, Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe, Manitoba Moose head coach Pascal Vincent and Tucson Roadrunners head coach Mike Van Ryn will serve as coaches for the event.

The 2018 AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 28 (8 p.m. ET) will pit the All-Stars from the two Eastern Conference divisions against those from the two Western Conference divisions in seven skills events.

In the 2018 AHL All-Star Challenge on Jan. 29 (7 p.m. ET), the four teams will participate in a round-robin tournament featuring six games of 10 minutes each, played entirely at 3-on-3. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin will face off for the championship, a six-minute game also played at 3-on-3.

The 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: since 1995, more than 93 percent of All-Star Classic participants have gone on to compete in the National Hockey League, including Jake Allen, Artem Anisimov, Patrice Bergeron, Ben Bishop, Troy Brouwer, Ryan Callahan, Zdeno Chara, Logan Couture, Braden Holtby, Tyler Johnson, Martin Jones, Chris Kunitz, Zach Parise, Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne, Bobby Ryan, Cory Schneider, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, P.K. Subban and Mats Zuccarello.

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives, broadcasters and staff of all 31 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today's NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2016-17, over 6 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America for the 16th year in a row.

Single game tickets and packages are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the War Memorial Arena at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444.

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