Ryan Strome is one of 20 AHL players competing tonight in the 2014 AHL All Star classic against Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hocke League. Last night, the two teams took part in the Skills Competition, with the AHL edging Farjestad by an 18-17 margin. Strome found out Tuesday morning that he was part of the AHL’s four-man squad in the Pepsi Accuracy Shooting contest. He was one of three players to hit all four targets in just six shots.
“I was actually going for five [shots],” Strome said. “I thought that would be the number to beat. But I tied with two other guys for six and it was a pretty good time all in all.”
The AHL trailed Farjestad by two goals heading into the final competition of the night, the AHL Live breakaway relay. Every skater from each team got a chance at a shootout opportunity, with each goal counting towards their team’s final score. Strome was one of eight AHL players to score, and eventually the AHL prevailed in sudden death.
“I kept it simple and just went forehand, five hole,” Strome said.
At 20 years old, Strome is one of the youngest players competing on the AHL All-Star team. Though he knows a couple players from his time as part of the Canadian World Junior Team, he doesn’t have a whole lot of familiarity with the roster. However, he doesn’t see that as too much of an issue.
“Obviously, there are a bunch of great players here,” Strome said. “It’s funny how, on almost every hockey team, whether it’s an all-star team or not, guys come together pretty quickly and know what they need to do.”
As far as the game tonight, Strome will be part of what figures to be a fairly potent line alongside Syracuse’s Brett Connolly and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Brian Gibbons. All three have seen significant time in the AHL this season. Gibbons has nine points (four goals, five assists) in 19 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins while Connolly has skated in 16 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning over the last two seasons. Strome, of course, has seen action in 15 games for the New York Islanders this season.
“That’s going to be a lot of fun,” Strome said. “Everyone here is a great player, but those two have played a bunch in the NHL and it’s something I’m really looking forward to.”
As far as tonight’s game goes, Strome is looking forward to the opportunity and looking to make the most of it.
“It’s 100 percent excitement,” Strome said. “There’s nothing really to be nervous about so I’m just going to go out and play. There will be guys on the ice that I looked up to, and it’s awesome to share the ice with them now. It’s been a great experience so far, and I’m looking forward to enjoying the game tonight and having some fun.
The AHL All-Star team will take on Farjestad BK at 6:30 p.m. eastern time from Mile One Center in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Strome will return for the Sound Tigers games this weekend when they face the Springfield Falcons on the road Saturday and host the Albany Devils Sunday afternoon.