ROCKFORD, Ill. – The American Hockey League today announced that goaltender Kevin Lankinen has been selected as the Rockford IceHogs’ representative for the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California. The All-Star selection is the first for Lankinen during his professional career.
Lankinen, 24, is in his second full pro season and has posted a record of 7-6-1 with a 3.04 GAA and .909 save percentage in 14 games with the IceHogs. He won four of his first five games on the year, combining for a 1.99 GAA and .937 save percentage through that span, and led Rockford to points in a season-high five straight games with a record of 4-0-1 from Oct. 30 – Nov. 23. The netminder then starred in a shutdown effort against Milwaukee on Dec. 10, setting an AHL franchise record with 55 saves on 56 shots in a 2-1 overtime win against the AHL’s then top-ranked Admirals at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
The Helsinki, Finland native also led his country to a gold medal at the IIHF World Championships this summer prior to the start of the regular season. Lankinen dominated through his eight appearances at the showcase, posting a 7-1-0 record with a 1.50 GAA and .942 save percentage for the Fins. He finished ranked first among tournament goaltenders in GAA and blanked an NHL-laden roster from Russia with a 32-shave shutout in the Semifinals.
Overall, Lankinen has recorded a 14-14-5 record with a 2.72 GAA and .909 save percentage through 33 career AHL games with Rockford from 2018-20. He will be the second IceHogs goaltender to attend the event after Michael Leighton represented the club during the 2015-16 season.
The 2020 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Ontario International Airport is set for Jan. 26-27 at Citizens Business Bank Arena. This year’s Skills Competition will be held on Sunday, Jan. 26 and the All-Star Challenge is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 27.
The AHL All-Star Classic features a 3-on-3 tournament with each of the league’s four divisions — Atlantic, North, Central and Pacific — represented. Rosters for the four All-Star teams will be comprised of 10 skaters and two goaltenders, and each of the 30 AHL teams will be represented by at least one All-Star player.
The teams will participate in a round-robin tournament featuring six games of 10 minutes, played entirely at 3-on-3. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin will face off for the championship, a six-minute game also played at 3-on-3.
Last year, defenseman Andrew Campbell represented the IceHogs as the team’s first playing captain of an AHL All-Star Game. He also fired a 99.5 MPH slapshot to finish second in the CCM Hardest Shot event.