The Checkers’ top two scorers, Jon Matsumoto and Jerome Samson, are headed to this year’s AHL All-Star Game.
On Wednesday afternoon, the AHL selected both players to the annual event, which will take place in Atlantic City on Monday, Jan. 30. At the time of the announcement, Matsumoto led the Checkers in points (29) and ranked second in goals (13), with Samson leading the team in goals (14) and ranking second in points (26).
In addition to those totals, Samson ranked tied for third in the AHL with eight power-play goals and led the league with 145 shots on goal.
This year’s event will not be the first for either player, with Samson having represented the Checkers in 2011 and Matsumoto having participated as a member of the Adirondack Phantoms in 2010. During Matsumoto’s appearance, which came in the midst his only 30-goal season to date, he won the skills competition’s accuracy challenge.
Together with defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti, who was selected in 2009 and 2010 as a member of the Hartford Wolf Pack, Matsumoto and Samson are the only current Checkers players to earn All-Star nods. Former Checkers defenseman Bryan Rodney, now with the Syracuse Crunch, joined Samson in last year’s game.
Starting Thursday at noon, fans will have the opportunity to vote Matsumoto and Samson into the game’s starting lineup at theahl.com and on the league’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ahl.