COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A record crowd, international television audience, and the most talented field to date highlighted the third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game played last Thursday (Sept. 25) at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.
“Based on the feedback we’ve received, I think it’s fair to say this year’s event was the best to date,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “Many thanks to all those involved in helping us make this the premier event that it is, particularly CCM, the Buffalo Sabres and city of Buffalo, as well as NHL Network.”
A total of 42 of the top Americans eligible for the 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft were split into two teams and coached by American hockey icons Mike Grier and Eddie Olczyk.
In the end, Team Grier came away with a 6-3 victory over Team Olczyk, led by two goals from Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y./U.S. National Under-18 Team); a goal and assist from Player of the Game recipient Jack Eichel (N. Chelmsford, Mass./Boston University); and 22 saves in the opening 29-plus minutes of the game from Luke Opilka (Effingham, Ill./U.S. National Under-18 Team). An event record 7,310 fans watched live at First Niagara Center, while fans across North America had a chance to watch live on NHL Network.
“It was fun to see all the talent on the ice,” said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “Our talent pool continues to get deeper every year and that’s a tribute to many, including the thousands of volunteer youth coaches all across the country.”
The 4th annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game will be played at First Niagara Center on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015.
NOTES: The game included a moment of silence prior to the opening faceoff in remembrance of 1980 U.S. Olympian Bob Suter, who passed away at age 57 on Sept. 9, 2014 ... Drew Stafford of the Buffalo Sabres presented the Player of the Game Award to Jack Eichel ... Head coaches Mike Grier and Eddie Olczyk conducted the ceremonial opening faceoff between New York natives Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) and Joe Ceccione (Youngstown, N.Y.) … Some 200 NHL scouts/personnel attended the game.