A pair of Prince George hockey products were front and centre when the American Hockey League held its all-star game Monday in Providence, Rhode Island.
Jon Cooper, head coach of the Syracuse Crunch, affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was behind the bench for Team East, while Brandon Manning, a defenceman for the Adirondack Phantoms, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, was added to the East lineup as an injury replacement on the weekend.
Unfortunately the Prince George duo wound up on the losing side of a 7-6 score when Toronto Marlies captain Ryan Hamilton notched his third goal of the game with 11.2 seconds left in regulation leading Team West to victory. Team East had trailed 6-4 but scored a pair of goals to tie the game at 6-6.
Manning also took part in two events for Team East in Sunday's skills competition - the puck-control relay and the breakaway relay - but was on the losing side in both. In the breakaway relay, Manning was unable to beat Abbotsford Heat goalie Barry Brust. Team West ended up winning the breakaway competition 6-3 and won the skills competition 12-11.
This season Cooper had the Crunch, who won the Calder Cup in 2012 as the Norfolk Admirals, sitting in fourth place at the all-star break with a 25-10-2-4 record. The Phantoms are mired in last place in the east with a 17-212-1 record. In 39 games with the Phantoms Manning has five goals and 12 points. Manning, a former Prince George Spruce King, signed as a free agent with the Flyers after completing his WHL career with the Chilliwack Bruins. He's in his second season playing with the Phantoms. Last season, Manning played his first four NHL games with the Flyers.