The 2013 ECHL All-Star Game and events hosted by the Colorado Eagles was a success this past week. Over a two day period, the events included a Fan Fest, a Skills Competition, and the All-Star game. The Fan Fest had a 'Legends of the Game' area displaying many former ECHL team's memorabilia (jerseys, pucks, etc): Louisiana IceGators, Hampton Roads Admirals, Pee Dee Pride, Columbia Inferno, Johnstown Chiefs, etc... It was pretty cool and brought back fond hockey memories from when I lived back east. They had a slide show displaying historical moments in the 25 years of the ECHL. The Stanley Cup, Kelly Cup, Con Smyth Trophy, and other notable hockey awards were available to view and take photos. Colorado Eagles alumni were available throughout the concourse to chat and sign autographs, a very nice touch.
For both the Skills Competition and the All-Star Game, it was the ECHL All-Stars vs. the home team (Colorado Eagles). Most teams in the ECHL had a representative on the ice.
The Skills Competition included: Skills Course, Accuracy Shooting, Rapid Fire, Fastest Skater (including two goaltenders racing against each other vs. the clock), Hardest Shot (101.1 MPH by Isaac Smeltzer from the Eagles), and the Break Away. The Colorado Eagles ended up winning the skills competition 10 - 5.
As fans entered the Budweiser Events Center for the All-Star Game, they were given a 2013 All-Star Game pennant and programs were handed out. As with any hockey All-Star Game, it was all about offense, fast skating, and scoring with minimal checks and penalties. I didn't keep score this game but I believe there were only two or three penalties in the first period and none after that. The ECHL All-Stars ended up winning 7-3 against the Colorado Eagles. South Carolina Stingrays' goaltender Ryan Zapolski was awarded the MVP honors this game.
Four players were honored into the ECHL Hall of Fame at this game; a very nice tribute.
The ECHL hasn't yet posted where the 2014 All-Star Game will take place. If you're a hockey fan, I'd recommend taking in one of these events in future years.