Ryan Strome represented both the New York Islanders organization and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers exceptionally well this week at the AHL All-Star classic as a member of the AHL All-Star team. A group of 20 AHL players took on Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League Wednesday night at Mile One Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The AHL All-Stars came away with a 7-2 victory over Farjestad and Strome was a key contributor, scoring two goals. He was the only player who recorded a multi-goal game in the AHL All-Star Classic.
“I had a great time,” Strome said. “Playing with players of that pedigree is really something special and it was a great experience.”
Strome’s first goal came after a Team AHL forecheck forced a Farjestad turnover. The puck bounced off a skate and ricocheted directly to Strome in the slot. After corralling the puck, he snapped a quick wrist shot to beat Farjestad goaltender Frederik Pettersson-Wenztel for the goal. It came just more than midway through the first period and, at the time, gave Team AHL a 2-0 lead.
“That was just a turnover,” Strome said. “I kind of snapped it low and got a little lucky the puck was there when I was.”
The second goal came much later in the game, with the AHL in front by a 6-2 margin with less than two minutes left. Brian Gibbons broke up an attempt by Farjestad to get the puck out of their own end. He picked the puck back up at the blue line and found Strome streaking into the high slot and. After receiving the pass, Strome quickly headed to the right circle and fired the shot home for his second of the night.
“Hopefully this starts getting the stick going a little bit,” Strome said. “I’d like to score a few more goals so hopefully they start coming in bunches now.”
It was a very successful All-Star break for the Mississauga, Ont., native, who also participated in the Pepsi Accuracy Shooting contest at Tuesday’s Skills Competition. Strome, along with St. John’s IceCaps forward Jason Jaffray and Farjestad’s Magnus Nygren, each hit all four targets in six shots to share the title.
For Strome, the atmosphere in St John’s was one he won’t soon forget.
“It was pretty crazy,” Strome said. “They take their hockey seriously up there. They sold out the game and the skills competition, too. The people were really nice and supported all of us unbelievably. I’d never been there before but it was a really fun place to play and it was nice to get a little taste of a great town.”
Strome has 43 points (11 goals, 32 assists) in 32 games with the Sound Tigers this season, including 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in nine games since being loaned from the Islanders on Jan. 15. He has four points (one goal, three assists) in 15 games with the Islanders, as well. Strome and the Sound Tigers will face the Springfield Falcons on the road Saturday and the Albany Devils at Webster Bank Arena Sunday afternoon.