BRYAN WILSON – 02.06.2023
The stars are out in Laval.
The 2023 AHL All-Star festivities are in full swing in Laval, QC and the Wranglers are well represented with head coach Mitch Love, Dustin Wolf and Matthew Phillips all on-hand. Wolf and Phillips took part in the 2023 RONA AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday afternoon.
Wolf was featured in the RONA Pass & Score and Rapid Fire events, while Phillips participated in the Rapid Fire and Upper Deck Breakaway Relay.
All three Wranglers will represent the Pacific Division at the All-Star main event on Monday night.
Phillips entered the midway mark of the season leading the league in goals (24) and game-winners (9). Since arriving in Laval, he has embraced the opportunity to see some familiar faces gathered for the festivities.
“You obviously recognize all the faces and there’s a few guys you’ve known in passing or you played together in the past,” explains Phillips. “It’s a pretty relaxed environment and to get to know some of the top players in the league, it’s pretty cool.”
Wolf was a lock to be named as an All-Star this season, with a league-best 26 wins and four shutouts so far. The Tustin, CA native has been enjoying his chance to catch up with a few former teammates around the event this weekend.
“It’s pretty awesome, seeing guys you played junior with,” said Wolf. “Throughout your life you get to know guys through playing in different leagues and to have those friendships and be able to reconnect with them at an awesome event like this has been pretty sweet.”
Meanwhile, Love (the reigning AHL Coach of the Year) has led his group to the top spot in the AHL standings with a record of 31-11-2 so far. The Wranglers bench boss will lead the Pacific Division team as the head coach for the All-Star game on Monday, with puck drop scheduled for just after 7:20pm EST.
“It’s great to be here,” Love expressed. “It’s outstanding support here in this market. All of us from the Wranglers are excited to be here.”