Hockey: Scorps shine at All-Star Game
Matchup: Odessa Jackalopes at New Mexico Scorpions
When: 7:15 p.m. Friday
On the air: KNML-AM (610) with Adam Minnick
Promotions: Saturday, Jan. 19, Junior Jerseys giveaway to the first 1,500 children at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
- Scorpions' loss caps lousy weekend
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- CHL: Scorpions deploy their 'shutdown line' against opponents' top scoring lines
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BROOMFIELD, Colo. On a night that saw the best in the Central Hockey League come together under one roof, the New Mexico Scorpions made sure they were well-represented.
Konrad Reeder and Vladimir Hartinger combined for 6 points and a plus-6 rating, while Andrew Martin stopped 22 of 23 shots in the third period to help the Southern Conference to an 11-6 victory over the Northern Conference in the 2008 CHL All-Star Game at the Broomfield Events Center.
The victory marked the first time since 2003 that the Southern Conference captured the midseason showdown.
Reeder spent his first career all-star game teamed up with the Arizona Sundogs' Alex Leavitt and Tyler Redenbach. A combination of three of the league's top five scorers, the trio paced the South with a combined five goals, 11 assists and a plus-9 rating in the contest. Leavitt was awarded the Most Valuable Player award for the Southern Conference on 3 goals and 2 assists.
"I got to play with two really skilled guys in Reds and Leavy," Reeder said. "They both really know how to play the game so they made it pretty easy for me."
On the back end, Hartinger paired up with another Sundog, David Schlemko. Like their teammates up front, the two were able to find chemistry, as Hartinger tallied a goal from Schlemko early in the second period. The Scorpions' captain also managed to draw iron on a few shots in his second career all-star appearance.
While the offense was everything fans have come to expect of an all-star tilt, Martin made sure the goaltenders got some recognition as well.
With his side up 6-5 going into the third period, Martin turned away shot after shot from the North side. Colorado's Greg Pankewicz managed to beat Martin from the slot just over five minutes into the final frame, but the first-time all-star made sure that would be it from the Northern Conference.
It definitely was not what Martin was expecting.
"I'll probably give up 10 goals in a period," Martin said before the game. "They'll put me in to make sure the Northern Conference hits double-digits."
Even after registering the win, Martin was quick to joke about his success.
"I knew they were going to be passing a lot so I just stayed deep in the net and started throwing body parts around," he said. "As that puck started hitting me more, I began to relax."
After Reeder scored to put the South up 11-6, Martin put his stamp on the game with a remarkable sprawling toe save on Pankewicz, denying the former league MVP what would have been his third point of the night.
Martin's 22 saves were the most of the six goaltenders in the contest, as were his 23 shots against. The shot total was also the highest in any one period since former Scorpions goaltender Miguel Beaudry faced 25 in the third period of the 2005 All-Star Game.
Now the three Scorpions must shift their focus back to extending New Mexico's season-best winning streak. Going into the all-star break, the Scorpions rattled off six consecutive wins to move them within five points of first place Odessa. The Scorps will host the Jackalopes on Friday night.