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NOAH WELCH NAMED STARTER FOR PlanetUSA ALL-STAR TEAM

Thursday, 01.12.2006 / 12:00 AM / Pittsburgh Penguins
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NOAH WELCH NAMED STARTER FOR PlanetUSA ALL-STAR TEAM

RELATED PRESS RELEASE: MULLEN AND SIMS TO COACH PLANET/USA ALL-STAR TEAM

RELATED PRESS RELEASE: SABOURIN AND OUELLET NAMED TO CANADIAN AHL ALL-STAR TEAM

Wilkes-Barre, PA – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defenseman Noah Welch has been voted a starter for the PlanetUSA All-Star Team at the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic, to be held February 1 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Additionally, Penguins forward Tomas Surovy has been named to the team as well.

Welch, 23, has appeared in all 36 games for the Penguins this season, recording 11 points (4+7), 25 penalty minutes and a plus-16 rating.  His plus/minus rating is tied for fifth overall in the league, and is tied for second among AHL rookies.

A native of Brighton, MA, Welch played four seasons for the Harvard Crimson, and was named a first team All-American and first team All-ECAC following his senior season.  The 6-4, 212 pound defender recorded 75 points (23+52) and 270 penalty minutes in 128 games at the school.

Welch was the Pittsburgh Penguins’ second round choice (54th overall) in the 2001 Entry Draft.

Surovy, 24, recorded 28 points (16+12) and a plus-11 rating in 25 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, before being recalled by the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins on December 11.  The 6-1, 212 pound left wing continues to lead the AHL Pens with 16 goals and nine power play goals, and ranks third on the club in points.

Currently with the NHL Penguins, Surovy has 11 points (6+5) and 12 penalty minutes in 13 games with Pittsburgh headed into Tuesday night’s game with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

A native of Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Surovy also suited up for the PlanetUSA Team at the 2003 AHL All-Star Classic.  He was originally selected by the Penguins in the fifth round (120th overall) of the 2001 Entry Draft.

The PlanetUSA Team comprises players born outside of Canada. AHL fans determined the starting lineup via on-line balloting at theahl.com, while a committee of AHL coaches selected the remainder of the roster.

The 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic will take place at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, home of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, and will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League. The event gets underway on Tuesday, January 31, with the 2006 CCM AHL All-Star Skills Competition at 7:00 p.m. (CT). The annual All-Star Game follows at 7:00 p.m. (CT) on Wednesday, February 1, and will be televised live in North America.

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