Hoof Beats: Kestner, Saulnier contribute at ECHL All-Stars

Two UAH alumni participated in the ECHL All-Star Classic in Wichita, Kan., on Wednesday.

Both Josh Kestner of the Toledo Walleye and Brennan Saulnier of the Rapid City Rush were on the Western Conference team, which lost to the Eastern Conference 4-3 in the championship game.

The event featured four teams (Western Conference, Eastern Conference, and two teams from the host Wichita Thunder) playing a 3-on-3, round-robin tournament with a running clock and rally scoring. The teams were seeded based on total goals for the semifinals and championship.

Kestner scored a goal in the Western Conference’s first and third games, and one in the semifinals. Saulnier scored two goals in the semifinals. Bouth had a total of four points on the night.

Kestner also participated in the accuracy shooting competition of the skills challenge. He finished third out of four participants by hitting all four targets in 15.48 seconds.

Kestner has 42 points in 36 games for Toledo this season, leading the Walleye and putting him ninth in the ECHL. He’s tied for eighth in goals scored with 18.

Saulnier has 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points in 36 games with Rapid City.

Forward commits: UAH received a commitment from Connor Szmul, a forward with the Chippewa Steel of the NAHL last Thursday (Jan. 16).

Szmul, rated 3.75 stars by recruiting site Neutral Zone, has 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists) with the Chippewa Steel of the NAHL this season. He’s a 5-foot-8, 155-pound left-hand shooter from Castle Rock, Colo.

While the Chargers got Szmul, they lost another forward recruit on the same day. Joey Baez of the NAHL’s Lone Star Brahmas switched his commitment to Army West Point.

Currently, UAH is expecting a six-member class joining the program this fall.