All-Stars Against One

Tonight’s Central Hockey League All-Star game doesn’t follow the usual format. Rather than collections of all-stars facing off against each other, a single all-star squad will take on your Colorado Eagles.

According to J.P. Puma, the Eagles’ manager of communication, this approach is so old that it’s new. “The idea is a spin on the way the NHL all-star game used to be played,” he says. “Originally, the Stanley Cup champions hosted an all-star team. It was that way for almost twenty years.” Eagles founder Ralph Backstrom, a six-time Cup winner and 2009 Colorado Sports Hall of Fame inductee, remembers this era fondly and convinced the CHL to try something like it — and the Eagles were chosen to compete due partly to their impressive drawing power: “We’ve sold out every game,” Puma boasts. He feels this “new twist on an old classic” will provide participants with incentive to play harder than is typical in all-star exhibitions. After all, he says, “the Eagles won’t want to lose in front of their home crowd, and the all-stars won’t want to lose to a regular team.”

The puck drops at 7:05 at the Budweiser Events Center, 5290 Arena Circle in Loveland; tickets are $30 to $35. Learn more at 1-970-686-7468 or
Wed., Jan. 14, 2009

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