AHL All-Stars Linus Ullmark and CJ Smith

The American Hockey League has announced that Linus Ullmark and CJ Smith will be representing the Rochester Americans at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic at the end of the month in Utica, NY.

Linus UIlmark is headed to his second straight AHL All-Star game and is currently tied for first in the league with 15 wins. He has a 15-5-3 record this season with a road record of 7-0-3 and is third in the league with a .926 save percentage. A 2.33 GAA has him in fifth overall in the league.

CJ Smith is in his rookie season and is leads the Amerks with 20 assists, second on the team with 10 goals and leads the team with the combined 30 points. He’s tied for second among all AHL rookies.

“I was real excited,” CJ Smith said about finding out he’d been chosen. “First year in the league making the team is really exciting for me. I’m really excited to represent Rochester.”

Chris Taylor talked about the selections saying, “Talked to the team today and it’s a reflection of the whole team, two guys representing the whole team. It’s great and could have put anybody in there. Guhle as well, Criscuolo. A lot of guys that could have made the All-Star team Redmond, Percy, geez they’re all having great years.”

That’s why the Amerks are in the position in the standings they are, it’s been progress from many players, not just relying on a few.

“Those guys are representing our whole team and how well we’ve played so it’s great for those guys,” said Chris Taylor.

Linus Ullmark commented on being selected by saying, “Kind of shows how good we’ve been playing. I’ve been very fortunate to have a great team in front of me this year and helping me out tremendously. Not just me going there, couldn’t do it without the guys.”

When asked if some others should have been selected as well he said, “I would like to have all the guys at the all star game.”

Taylor himself was one win away from being selected as the coach of the North Division. Head coaches are selected based on the top team of each division at the end of the day on December 31st.

The 2018 AHL All-Star Challenge will then take place on the evening of Monday, Jan. 29 at 7:00 p.m. For the third straight year, instead of a traditional 60-minute game, the league’s all-stars will be divided into four teams, one representing each of the league’s divisions (Atlantic, North, Central, Pacific). The teams will then play 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 tournament will face off for the championship, a six-minute game also played using the 3-on-3 format. Rosters for each team will be composed of 11 skaters and two goaltenders.

Tickets for the two-day 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino are priced at $39, $49, $69 and $89, and include admission to both the Skills Competition on Jan. 28 and the All-Star Challenge on Jan. 29. Tickets can be purchased either in person at the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium Box Office located at 400 Oriskany St. W in Utica, N.Y., online by visiting www.uticacomets.com or www.empirestatetix.com or by calling 1-315-790-9070.