Rockford, Ill. (WIFR) The American Hockey League announced that defenseman Erik Gustafsson and forward Vinnie Hinostroza will represent the Rockford IceHogs at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino in Utica, N.Y. The All-Star selection is the first for each of the two players during their respective AHL careers.
Gustafsson, 25, has notched 14 points with three goals, 11 assists and 38 penalty minutes through 22 contests with the IceHogs this season. The 6-1 206-lbs blueliner began the year with 10 points (3g, 7a) in his first 11 games prior to being sidelined with an injury through the majority of November and December. Since returning to the lineup on Dec. 28, Gustafsson has tallied an assist in three of his last four games for Rockford.
Hinostroza, 23, led the IceHogs and ranked 11th in the AHL in points prior to being recalled by the Blackhawks on Dec. 8. The 5-10, 180-lbs forward collected nine goals, 13 assists and a +7 rating through his 22 appearances with Rockford, and notched a team season-high six-game point streak from Oct. 14-25. Hinostroza also potted a pair of game-winning shootout goals to help lead the IceHogs to back-to-back victories against Grand Rapids on Nov. 18 and Chicago on Nov. 19.
The 2018 AHL All-Star Classic will be televised live locally in the Rockford market on WIFR’s Cozi TV on 23.3, where all the IceHogs regular-season and playoff games are aired. The AHL All-Star Skills Competition is set for Sunday, Jan. 28 (7 p.m.), followed by the AHL All-Star Game on Monday, Jan. 29 (6 p.m).
The 2018 AHL All-Star Classic will feature a 3-on-3 tournament with each of the league’s four divisions — Atlantic, North, Central and Pacific — being represented. Rosters for each team will be comprised of 10 skaters and two goaltenders each, and each of the 30 AHL teams will be represented by at least one All-Star player.
The teams will participate in a round-robin tournament featuring six games of 10 minutes each, played entirely at 3-on-3. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin will face off for the championship, a six-minute game also played at 3-on-3.
Last year, former IceHogs forward Spencer Abbott helped the Central Division claim the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic championship.