Gratton Wins Accuracy Shooting, Balej Third Fastest Skater
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN - Hamilton Bulldogs captain and forward Benoit Gratton won the Pepsi Accuracy Skills Competition at the 2004 AHL All-Star Skills Competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Sunday. Gratton hit four targets on just six shots to win the event. Gratton becomes the second Bulldogs player in the history of the AHL All-Star Skills Competition to win Accuracy Shooting. Brian Swanson won the event back in 2002 (4/7). Gratton also participated in the Hockey News Rapid Fire and Kodak Breakaway Relay Competitions.
Bulldogs forwards Jozef Balej and Tomas Plekanec helped lead the PlanetUSA All-Star Team to an 18-9 victory over the Canadian AHL All-Stars in the overall 2004 AHL All-Stars Skills Competition. Balej and Plekanec participated in the Applebee's Pass and Score Competition and Kodak Breakaway Relay. Balej also finished third in the CCM Faster Skater event.
The Hamilton Bulldogs will broadcast the 2004 AHL All-Star Game live from Grand Rapids, Michigan on Monday, February 9th on Hamilton's 820 CHAM, on-line at www.hamiltonbulldogs.com and on the AHL's official website www.theahl.com. Hamilton Bulldogs' play-by-play announcer Derek Wills will call all the live action, while Craig Downey, the Bulldogs' Director of Communications will provide the colour commentary. The Bulldogs will provide the exclusive radio broadcast of the 2004 AHL All-Star game. AHL fans can tune into the pre-game show beginning at 6:40 p.m. on Monday, February 9th.