By Mallory Day 
BELLEVILLE – A 22-year-old Belleville native, Nick Cousins, was chosen to play in the American Hockey League  all-star challenge that took place this past Sunday and Monday.
Thank you Syracuse !! pic.twitter.com/30fSwgn1ol 
— Nick Cousins (@Cous27) February 2, 2016 
Cousins plays for the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms  in Allentown, Pa ., and was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers  in 2011. He played for the Atlantic Division team in the all-star game, which took place in Syracuse, N.Y.
The game “was a dream come true and an awesome experience,” Cousins said in a telephone interview with QNet News on Tuesday. “This is something you work your whole life for.”
This was Cousins’s first time in the all-star game and skills competition. “It was definitely an honour and a lot of fun,” he said. “My family came down to cheer me on.”
Cousins has been with the Phantoms for five years. He said he doesn’t miss home much, but enjoys coming back to visit and living here in the summertime.
“Allentown is a lot of fun,” Cousins said. “People here always have your back and give nothing but support.”
The Phantoms are “almost at the top of the list for game attendance this season.”
Cousins said he thanks his dad, Brian Cousins, for being the first one to put skates on his feet when he was four. He grew up on Meadowvale Avenue with his two older siblings, Mike and Katie.