Monday, March 14, 2005

Saginaw to host 2007 All-Star Game

The Ontario Hockey League announced Saturday that the Saginaw Spirit will host the 2007 Bell OHL All-Star Classic.

“The Ontario Hockey League is elated to take this opportunity to award the Saginaw Spirit with this special event,” said OHL commissioner David Branch. “The mid-Michigan community has passionately supported the Spirit and the Ontario Hockey League since the team’s arrival in 2002 and we look forward to shining the spotlight of the entire league on the city of Saginaw and the Dow Event Centre in 2007.”

Forty of the league’s brightest stars will face-off in an Eastern Conference versus Western Conference showdown format.

“We are thrilled that the OHL Board of Governors awarded the Bell OHL All-Star Classic to the City of Saginaw,” said Spirit owner and OHL governor Richard Garber. “This is a great opportunity to thank the fans in our community for their support of the franchise and to bring the entire Ontario Hockey League to Saginaw in 2007 for this special event.”

Spirit managing partner Craig Goslin echoed Garber’s comments.

“The entire Saginaw Spirit organization is committed to hosting this first class event,” Goslin said. “The Bell OHL All-Star Classic is one of the of the most prestigious sporting events to be hosted by our community. I know our town has what it takes to showcase Saginaw to the rest of the hockey world. This helps cement Saginaw’s image as a “Cool City”, as designated by Governor Jennifer Granholm.”

The OHL All-Star Game was first played in 1977 in Sudbury when the Emms Division defeated the Leyden Division 6-5 in overtime. The Emms vs. Leyden format continued for nine seasons through 1985 following which the game was replaced by the OHL/QMJHL All-Star Challenge Series. The East-West format was re-introduced for the 2004 OHL All-Star Classic in Peterborough in 2004 and the Owen Sound Attack hosted the most recent game this past February.

The Belleville Bulls will host the 2006 Bell OHL All-Star Cup next February.

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