Buffalo, NY - It took six years to the day for the West Division to walk off the field of an All-Star game as winners.
The West snapped a four-game losing streak in All-Star play by overcoming a slow start to beat the East 20-18 on Saturday night before a crowd of 13,466 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.
Geoff Snider of the Calgary Roughnecks won his second All-Star Most Valuable Player award after scoring four goals with two assists. He also won 22 of 26 faceoffs.
The Philadelphia Wings’ Dan Dawson was the high scorer for the East with seven points (goal, six assists).
The East jumped out to a 6-2 lead after one quarter behind a couple of players from the host Buffalo Bandits. Luke Wiles scored twice, as did John Tavares – the league’s all-time scoring leader who made his record 10th All-Star appearance at age 43.
Wiles completed his hat trick 2:44 into the second quarter to give the East a 9-2 lead, but the West started to mount a comeback. Gavin Prout of the Colorado Mammoth scored two goals 21 seconds apart to finish off his hat trick, then the teams traded three tallies before the West went on a 3-0 run in a 2:29 span to make it 11-8 going into the break.
Snider posted the first of those goals followed by markers from Minnesota Swarm teammates Ryan Benesch and Andrew Suitor.
The starting goaltenders faced their fair share of rubber in the opening half. Chris Levis of the Mammoth stopped 24 of 35 shots for the West while Buffalo’s Mike Thompson recorded 19 saves on 27 shots for the East.
The West trailed 15-13 with time winding down in the third quarter before getting two quick goals. Snider notched his third of the game at 14:43 then Minnesota rookie
Jordan MacIntosh beat Toronto Rock goaltender Matt Roik with less than a second left.
It didn’t take long after that for the West to take their first lead of the night. John Grant Jr. of the Mammoth – the league’s leading scorer in 2012 – had a goal in the opening minute of the fourth held up on appeal, and MacIntosh extended the lead with his second tally of the game a minute later.
Snider posted his fourth of the game with 7:05 left to extend the West’s biggest lead to three.
Cody Jamieson of the Rochester Knighthawks and Garrett Billings of Toronto got the East within a goal at 18-17 before Minnesota’s Callum Crawford found the back of the net with his second of the game and Prout added his fourth goal.
Roik finished with 28 saves on 40 shots faced. Aaron Bold of the Edmonton Rush stopped 23 of 30 second-half shots.
Jeff Shattler and Curtis Manning also represented the Calgary Roughnecks at the 2012 NLL All-Star Game. Shattler tallied one goal and three assists while Manning had two turnovers.
WATCH: POST GAME INTERVIEW GEOFF SNIDER