When the games started, Atkinson and Columbus teammates Seth Jones and Sergei Bobrovsky did their part in the 3-on-3 mini-tournament. Atkinson scored twice in a 10-6 over the Atlantic Division to advance to the final, while Jones formed a productive line with Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jerseys Taylor Hall in both sessions. The only Blue Jackets representative absent was coach John Tortorella, with Wayne Gretzky stepping in to coach the Metropolitan Division while Tortorella was dealing with a sick family pet. Jones thought Atkinson made a strong case for Most Valuable Player, which went to Simmonds for scoring the winner in the final with 4:58 remaining. Simmonds and Hall had a 2-on-0 breakaway coming off the faceoff following Atkinsons tying goal, with Simmonds putting in his third goal of the afternoon just five seconds after Atkinson did the same. While endorsing Atkinson for the games top honor, Jones couldnt help but give his friend a bit of playful criticism for how he scored in a wide-open contest that did get noticeably more competitive in the closing minutes. Thats Cam cheating up ice and getting breakaways, thats what he does, Jones said. When Atkinson gets back to Columbus, he has plenty of new mementos to add to his man cave, including the helmet he wore during the game now covered in autographs from his fellow All-Stars and some extra cash for wedding planning. But the memories of the weekend will last even longer. Atkinson lingered in the Staples Center locker room, the last player still in his hockey pants.
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