Wolves Trio Earn All-Star Honors
Chicago Wolves defenseman TRAVIS ROCHE has been named to the 2004-05 American Hockey League First All-Star team. In addition, goaltender KARI LEHTONEN and right wing J.P. VIGIER have been selected to the AHL Second All-Star team. The Wolves top all teams in the AHL with three All-Star representatives, marking the first time since the 1998-99 season that Chicago has had three players garner regular-season All-Star selections.
ROCHE ranks third among AHL defensemen with a career-high 49 points and sixth with a career-most 37 assists in 72 games. The 26-year-old blueliner was a member of the Canadian All-Star Team in the 2005 AHL All-Star Game.
The Grand Cache, Alberta, native, who has played 10 NHL games in parts of three seasons with Minnesota (2000-2002 and 2003-04) has posted 47 goals, 122 assists and 169 points in 257 career AHL contests with the Houston Aeros (2001-2004) and Chicago (2004-05). Roche, who was named the AHL's Man of the Year for community service following the 2001-02 season, helped lead Houston to the 2003 Calder Cup Championship.
LEHTONEN ranks second in the league with a franchise-high 36 wins, third with 1,596 saves and fifth with 3199:28 minutes played in a career-most 54 appearances. The Helsinki, Finland, native was named the American Hockey League Goaltender of the Month for March after earning the same honor in December.
The 21-year old netminder, who was the starting goaltender for the PlanetUSA All-Star Team in the 2005 AHL All-Star Game, has been recognized by The Hockey News three times this season as the league's first-half MVP, the No. 1 AHL prospect and the No. 3 NHL prospect in the world.
Last year, Lehtonen accrued a 20-14-2 record, a 2.41 goals against average and a .926 save percentage in 39 games with the Wolves during his rookie season. He also recorded a perfect 4-0-0 mark in as many games with the Atlanta Thrashers, including his first NHL shutout on March 27 against the Florida Panthers.
VIGIER ranks 15th in the AHL with a team-high and career-most 67 points in 72 games. The 28-year-old forward also paces the team with 28 goals one shy of his career-high.
The Notre Dame de Lourdes, Manitoba, native, who was named the AHL's Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 27, 2005, has registered 23 points (14G, 9A) in 100 career NHL contests with the Atlanta Thrashers (2000-2004). Vigier, a member of Chicago's 2002 Calder Cup winning team, has registered 82 goals, 82 assists, and 164 points in 197 career games with the Wolves.
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