MANCHESTER, N.H. -- With the National Hockey League locked out, the 2005 AHL All-Star Classic showcased talent that would otherwise be skating in NHL arenas as Planet USA came from behind to defeat the Canadian All-Stars 5-4 in a shootout Monday.
After giving up four goals in the first period, Planet USA stormed back with three second-period goals to cut the Canadian lead to 4-3.
Mikko Koivu of the Houston Aeros tied the game for Planet USA with 10:18 left in the third, working a give-and-go with the Edmonton Road Runners' Tony Salmelainen and beating Mathieu Garon of the host team Manchester Monarchs.
The teams went straight to a shootout, where Planet USA made all three of its shots and stopped all three of the Canadians' attempts. Zach Parise of Albany, Tomas Plekanec of Hamilton and Andy Hilbert of Providence all scored on Garon. Meanwhile, Planet USA goalie Ryan Miller of Rochester stopped Hason Spezza of Binghamton, Kyle Wellwood of St. John's and Chuck Kobasew of Lowell.
The Hamilton Bulldogs' Tomas Plekanec was named the game's most valuable player.
Plekanec got Planet USA on the board at 3:34 of the second when he redirected a shot by the Syracuse Crunch's Alexander Svitov past Joey MacDonald of the Grand Rapids Griffins.
The Providence Bruins' Andy Hilbert cut the Canadian lead to 4-2, and Brandon Bochenski of the Binghamton Senators picked up a loose puck and fired it past MacDonald to get Planet USA to within one at 4-3 after the second period.
Antero Nittymaki of the Philadelphia Phantoms put up a scoreless second period for Planet USA. Wellwood scored the first goal of the period by tipping in a shot from the Manchester Monarchs' Mike Cammalleri.
Michel Ouellet of the Wilkes-Barre Penguins extended the Canadian lead to 2-0 as he converted a textbook give-and-go two-on-one with the Milwaukee Admirals' Simon Gamache.
Rene Bourque of the Norfolk Admirals finished off the first period scoring on a feed from the Providence Bruins' Patrice Bergeron.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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