The American Hockey League had a fitful history with All-Star Games. After a one-off exhibition in 1942, the league didn’t stage another such exhibition until 1954. For the net six years, the game jumped around the calendar from October to as late as January, but always with the same format: the host club would face off against a squad of stars from the rest of the league.
In the winter of 1959-60, Eddie Shore’s Springfield Indians – mediocre at best for nearly a decade – were about to embark on a three-year dynasty as the finest team in the American League thanks to a farm club agreement with powerful New York Rangers. They would finish first in the regular season and then claim the Calder Cup in 1960, 1961 and 1962. This All-Star exhibition at the Big E Coliseum early in the 1959-60 campaign provided a taste of things to come for local hockey fans in the Western Massachusetts city.
Gump Worsley – slumming it in the AHL during a 15-game demotion from Springfield’s parent club, the New York Rangers – minded the nets for the Indians. Worsley allowed a goal to Fred Glover of the Cleveland Barons at the 0:56 mark and another to Larry Wilson of the Buffalo Bisons (9:45) to spot the All-Stars a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes in. But then the future Hall-of-Famer settled down. Worsley made 36 saves and limited the All-Stars to just one further tally.
At the other end of the ice, the All-Stars split the goaltending duties evenly between Hershey’s Bobby Perrault and Rochester’s Ed Chadwick. Perrault let in a couple of Springfield goals in back end of the 1st period to know the game at 2-2 at the first intermission. There the score still stood when Chadwick relieved him midway through the second period. Chadwick would go on to win the Hap Holmes Award as the AHL’s stingiest goalie that winter, but this wasn’t his night. The Indians peppered him for six goals in the exhibition’s final 30 minutes to run away with an 8-3 victory. Bill Sweeney and Dennis Olson notched a pair each for the hosts.
This would turn out to be the last All-Star Game for the AHL for 35 years, until the league revived the format in January 1995.