Admirals Mueller leads Western Conference in skills competition

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Milwaukee Admirals forward Chris Mueller helped the Western Conference AHL All-Stars open the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic with an 18-10 victory over their Eastern Conference counterparts in the 2012 AHL All-Star Skills Competition at historic Boardwalk Hall on Sunday afternoon.

Mueller led a victorious leg of the Sher-wood Puck Control Relay, then knocked out all four of the targets in the Caesars Atlantic City Accuracy Shooting, but missed his try in the Panasonic Breakaway relay.

In other action, Ben Bishop of the Peoria Rivermen, who leads the AHL with six shutouts during the 2011-12 season, earned the Reebok Top Goaltender award by stopping 16 of 19 shots for the Western Conference. Bishop was 8-for-10 in the RBC Rapid Fire event, stopped two of three attempts in the Visit Atlantic City Pass and Score, and denied all six shooters in the Panasonic Breakaway Relay to capture the award.

Chicago Wolves defenseman Kevin Connauton won the Reebok Hardest Shot event with a shot of 99.4 miles per hour, and Brian Connelly, representing the Abbotsford Heat after being acquired by the Calgary Flames on Friday, won the Reebok Fastest Skater event with a lap timed at 13.851 seconds.

Ryan Keller of the Oklahoma City Barons and Trevor Smith of the Norfolk Admirals shared the Caesars Atlantic City Accuracy Shooting crown, each hitting four targets in five attempts.

The Western Conference squad will go for the sweep when the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic continues on Monday night (6:00 p.m. CT) with the annual AHL All-Star Game. The game will be broadcast live in Milwaukee on Time Warner Sports 32.

The 2012 AHL All-Star Classic is presented by the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, Caesars Entertainment, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the American Hockey League.