The 2019 ECHL All-Star Game in Toldedo, Ohio, was a home game of sorts for Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Dajon Mingo.
A crowd of over 7,000 first cheered Mingo Monday, a salute to his playing days at nearby Bowling Green State University and his stint with the ECHL’s Toldeo Walleye.
But the cheers turned to boos after Mingo scored the All-Star Game-winning shootout goal for the Eastern Conference team against Team Fins, a squad of mostly Walleye players.
— Mark Monroe (@MonroeBlade) January 22, 2019
“I wasn’t really ready for the BGSU cheers. But I guess they still remember me here from the Walleye and at Bowling Green,” Mingo told The Toledo Blade. “When I scored there I didn’t know if they were going to cheer for me or boo me. So I just pointed at the crowd. And I think that got them going…”
Mingo played for Bowling Green from 2012 to 2016. He was bypassed in National Hockey League drafts but was invited to the Washington Capitals development camp in 2015. He made his professional hockey debut with the Walleye in the 2015-16 season.
The 5-foot-9 Canton, Michigan, native has 5 goals and 10 assists in 21 games for the Icemen. He has 22 goals and 53 assists in 191 ECHL regular season games.
And it’s the East with a goal by Bowling Green’s Dajon Mingo in a sudden death shootout winning the 2019 ECHL All-Star game pic.twitter.com/oPO9qC52PM
— Joe Nugent (@joenuge) January 22, 2019
Mingo wasn’t the only player or coach of color at the All-Star Game. Norfolk Admirals defenseman Jalen Smereck joined him on the East team.
Smereck, a 6-foot Detroit, Michigan native, tallied a goal and an assist in the All-Star tournament. He has 4 goals and 27 assists for the Admirals this season
Cincinnati Cyclones Assistant Coach Jason Payne served as an assistant coach for the West team.
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