Hofer, Highmore Named to 2023 AHL All-Star ClassicJan 11, 2023
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The American Hockey League today announced the rosters for the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Bell in collaboration with Manulife Bank, taking place on Feb. 5-6 at Place Bell in Laval, QC, the home of the Laval Rocket.
The Thunderbirds will be sending two representatives to this season's event - goaltender Joel Hofer and forward Matthew Highmore.
Hofer, 22, has enjoyed a breakout year in his second season with Springfield. Entering play on Jan. 11, the Blues' fourth-round pick in 2018 sits eighth among AHL goaltenders with a 2.41 goals-against average, seventh in save percentage at .921, and second in minutes played (1396:51). He has also won seven of his last ten starts dating back to Dec. 1.
A native of Winnipeg, MB, Hofer made history on May 12, 2022, when he became the first goaltender in AHL history to physically shoot and score a goal in a Calder Cup playoff contest during Game 2 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, a game he won 6-2. Hofer finished the Calder Cup Playoffs with a 6-4-0 record and a .934 save percentage.
The netminder will be joined by Highmore, who leads all Springfield skaters with 31 points through his first 34 games, including 24 assists, a mark that puts him in a tie for eighth among all AHL players. This is Highmore's second trip to the AHL All-Star Classic, as the 26-year-old native of Halifax, N.S. was also named to the event in 2017-18 as a rookie with the Rockford IceHogs.
An undrafted player out of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Highmore has gone on to have a prolific career in both the NHL and AHL. He has skated in 137 NHL contests with the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks, posting 27 points (12g, 15a). In 131 AHL games with Rockford and Springfield, Highmore has 95 points (38g, 57a) to his credit.
The AHL’s All-Stars will be divided into four teams, one representing each of the league’s four divisions, for the 2023 Mise-o-jeu AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday, Feb. 6. The teams will participate in a round-robin 3-on-3 tournament featuring six games of 10 minutes each. 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 2023 Rona AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, Feb. 5, will pit the All-Stars from the two Eastern Conference divisions against those from the two Western Conference divisions in seven skills events.
Tickets for the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Bell in collaboration with Manulife Bank, which include admission to both the Skills Competition and the Challenge, start at only $39 and are available now by visiting rocketlaval.com.
Thunderbirds fans can reserve their seats for the remainder of the 2022-23 season and lock in the best prices by calling (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visiting www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.