Metro Division Victorious In NHL All-Star Tournament

Updated: January 29, 2017

Throughout the first half of the regular season, the Metropolitan Division has been at the top of the NHL heap. After Sunday’s 3-on-3 All-Star tournament, nothing has changed.

Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers scored the tournament-winning goal for the Metro Division just five seconds after they had tied it on a goal by Columbus’s Cam Atkinson, and the Metro Division topped the Pacific Division 4-3 in the final game of the tournament, giving the Metro the $1 million prize. Simmonds was named the tournament’s MVP after scoring three goals in two games, finishing plus-3 with eight shots on goal.

Atkinson tied the game 3-3 when he got a breakaway, had his initial shot stopped by Pacific Division goalie Mike Smith, but followed his rebound and scored. Right off the ensuing faceoff, Taylor Hall and Simmonds found themselves on a 2-on-0, where Hall served up Simmonds with a nice pass that Simmonds buried for the eventual tournament-winner. The two goals came moments after Ryan Kesler appeared to give the Pacific a 3-2 lead, but the goal was challenged for being offside, and after a video review, the officials determined that Connor McDavid was offside and the goal was disallowed.

It would be a tense final couple of minutes, as the Pacific made a late push to tie the game. Kesler had an open net in front with Metro goalie Braden Holtby out of position, but his shot was kicked away by Ryan McDonagh with about 35 seconds remaining. Each game of the tournament was a 20-minute period divided into two 10-minute halves with the teams changing ends for each half. The first half of the final game featured a sensational breakaway goal by Connor McDavid, who went to his backhand and scored after Sergei Bobrovsky charged out to try and poke the puck away. Bobrovsky also made an amazing blocker save on Brent Burns on a 2-on-1 during the first half. In the final 10 minutes, Holtby took over for Bobrovsky and shut down the Pacific, not allowing a single goal in his last period of the tournament.

The tourney began when Pacific routed the Central Division by a 10-3 score. Every skater on the Pacific squad finished with at least two points, led by Johnny Gaureau’s two goals and one assist and Cam Fowler’s four points on the strength of a goal and three assists.

In the other semifinal, the Metro beat the Atlantic Division by a 10-6 score in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate, as it was tied 3-3 after the first half and also featured an empty net goal by the Metro to go along with an Alex Ovechkin goal with one second remaining that gave that game its final four-goal margin. Atkinson and John Tavares each led the way for the Metro with two goals and two assists each. On the Atlantic side, Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov starred in his All-Star game debut, scoring a pair of goals and adding two assists, while the Lightning’s Victor Hedman had a goal and an assist. Florida’s Vincent Trocheck also had four points on the strength of a goal and three helpers.








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Brooks Roland
Born and raised in Bradenton, Florida, Brooks figured out from an early age that working in a job where you get to watch sports on a regular basis was what he wanted to do. Although he's loved both the NFL and college football as an unabashed fan of the Bucs and Florida State since the age of 10, it was his introduction to the Tampa Bay Lightning shortly after his 11th birthday that changed his life forever. While trying to find something to watch one night, he stumbled across a Lightning game against the Bruins, and after watching the team’s battle to a 3-3 tie, Brooks was hooked on hockey for good. There was no going back.

After graduating from Jacksonville University in 2005 with a degree in Communications, Brooks took a job as a producer for Sports Radio 1470 in Tampa, and after a year-and-a-half, left the business to pursue other endeavors. After nearly five years away, the old itch came back, and he returned to radio in December 2011. Brooks eventually became an on-air producer at 98.7 The Fan, working on such shows as Out of Bounds with Jeff "Pants" Pantridge, the Kirk and Kage show, The Fabulous Sports Babe Show, and serving as technical producer for Fan Interference.

When he's not watching the Noles eek out another close win, the Bucs finding new and creative ways to lose, or the Lightning build a contender before his very eyes, Brooks likes watching movies and quoting

The Big Lebowski and Goodfellas, playing golf (or at least trying not to embarrass himself), bowling, trying to keep his dog happy, enjoying a cold beverage with friends, spending time with family, playing video games, listening to loud rock music in his car, coming up with wacky combinations of cards on Cards Against Humanity, reading a book every now and then, and occasionally working out. Not regularly, but occasionally.

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