Maine Hockey Journal

Mancari impressive as Philly’s Jared Ross steals the show

Worcester, Mass. – Last year, Philadelphia Phantoms forward Jared Ross was recovering from an emergency appendectomy, instead of taking part of his first AHL All-Star Classic in Binghamton, NY.

For Ross, it was well worth the wait as he was named MVP of the AHL All-Star Classic in Worcester, MA, scoring seven points (1g, 6a) to help PlanetUSA defeat the Canadian AHL All-Stars 14-11 in front of a sold out crowd of 7,245 at the DCU Center of Monday night.

Ross set an AHL record for both assists and points in an All-Star game as PlanetUSA scored nine times in the third period.

“It was a lot fun and a real honor to take part,” said Ross.

The 5-9, 170-pound forward didn’t take the traditional route up the hockey ladder, beginning with his birthplace in Huntsville, Alabama, not exactly known as a hockey hotbed. After four years at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, he signed as a free agent with Philadelphia last April and played his first NHL game with the Flyers in October against the NY Rangers.

Early in the second period, the Canadian All-Star built a 5-2 lead, before Albany’s Michael Ryan scored a pair of goals on Aeros’ goalie Barry Brust to pull Planet USA back within a goal.

At the end of two periods, the Canadian All-Stars held an 8-5 lead in PlanetUSA with the help of Aeros’ Corey Locke, Manchester’s Teddy Purcell and Pirates’ forward Mark Mancari, who tallied three points with a plus-4 rating on the night.

“It was a great day playing with two very skilled players,” he said. “I wished I had three or four more goals, but the goaltending was playing well and I was gripping the stick a little too tight.”

Locke also set an AHL record for goals in an All-Star game, getting his first goal just 1:11 into the game.

Mancari, a teammate of Locke as a member of the Ottawa 67’s, was credited with an assist on the play. Although it was a few years since they last played together, Mancari was amazed at how quick it took him to recreate the chemistry from his junior days.

“When you play with a player that has (Locke’s) vision and talent, it’s amazing and he made me a better player,” Mancari said.

“I learned so much from him, I became a more offensive player, smarter player.”

The lone Pirates’ representative wasn’t without chances himself in the game, nearly scoring four times in the game.

He finally was able to tally a goal at 7:55 of the third period, extended the Canadian All-Stars lead by two goals at 10-8 as he finished off a two-on-one from Lake Erie’s Kyle Cumiskey.

Mancari scored his second assist on the night with 6:47 left in the game as Locke scored his fourth goal, giving the Canadian All-Stars an 11-10 lead over PlanetUSA.

Last year’s MVP Teddy Purcell scored five assists and now has eight points in two All-Star games, joining Corey Locke tied for the career points in an All-Star game.

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