PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced the coaches for the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, to be hosted by the Indy Fuel on Monday, Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. ET at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The game will air LIVE exclusively on NHL Network.
For the first time in ECHL history, the All-Star Classic will feature not two, but four teams, representing each of the League’s divisions. In a format similar to those adopted by the NHL and AHL All-Star Games, the four teams will compete in a 3-on-3 tournament in order to crown a winner. The two semifinal matches will be played within the Eastern and Western Conferences; with the North Division taking on the South Division and the Central Division facing the Mountain Division. The 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place after the second semifinal game, with the championship round following immediately at the conclusion of the Skills Competition.
Colorado Eagles’ head coach Aaron Schneekloth will serve as head coach of the Mountain Division All-Stars by virtue of the Eagles having the top winning percentage in the Western Conference through games of Dec. 23, 2017. Colorado, which captured the 2017 Kelly Cup title in Schneekloth’s first season as head coach, is 23-5-4 and leads the ECHL with 50 points and is second with a .781 winning percentage.
South Carolina Stingrays’ head coach Ryan Warsofsky will serve as head coach of the South Division All-Stars. Warsofsky led South Carolina to the Kelly Cup Finals in his first season as head coach in 2017. The Stingrays are 19-7-4 for 42 points and are in second place of the South Division.
The Florida Everblades had the Eastern Conference’s best winning percentage through games of Dec. 23, 2017, however, Everblades’ head coach Brad Ralph will coach the team during its regular season game at Atlanta on Jan. 15.
Bernie John of the host Indy Fuel will serve as head coach for the Central Division All-Stars while a celebrity coach will lead the North Division All-Stars.
It is the first All-Star coaching appearance for Schneekloth, Warskofsky and John. The record for All-Star appearances is three by Chris Cichocki, Glen Gulutzan, Davis Payne and Jeff Pyle.
Fourteen coaches from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to coach in the National Hockey League while 67 players from the contest have gone on to play in the NHL, including 51 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
The Sin Bin’s on-site coverage from Indianapolis begins Sunday, January 14, 2017. Stay with us as we bring you multi-platform coverage of the ECHL’s signature in-season event!
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