AHL: West Edges East in Skills Comp.


Halfway through the AHL’s All-Star Skills Competition, it seemed likely that the Eastern Conference would take the win; however, the West wasn’t quite done – and the squad rallied back for an eventual 12-11 victory.

The Eastern Conference team won three of four heats in the first event, the Sher-Wood Puck Control Relay. They also won the CCM fastest skater competition, with the fastest team average time between three skaters (Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Chris Summers, Tyler Johnson). Summers won the individual portion, with a time of 13.324 seconds.

The EA Sports NHL 13 Rapid Fire contest was next; six heats saw two players each allowed five shots against a goaltender from the opposing squad. The team with the most total saves earned a goal, and once again, that proved to be the Eastern Conference squad.

Robin Lehner allowed one goal on 10 shots, Curtis McElhinney allowed two goals, and Niklas Svedberg allowed four goals for a team combined total of seven goals against. For the West, Barry Brust allowed six goals, Petr Mrazek allowed one, and Justin Peters allowed two.

The CCM Hardest Shot competition would prove fruitful for both squads; the East took the higher team average, while the hardest individual shot hailed from the West.

Brayden McNabb of the Rochester Americans notched a 101.8 miles/hour shot, capturing the individual title and becoming the fifth player in event history to crack triple digits. Also for the West, Brad Hunt came in with a 99.5 and Mark Cundari’s shot registered at 93.8. Eric Gryba led the Eastern team with a 99.6 mph shot.

The Western Conference squad won both the individual and team portions of the accuracy shooting, as Texas’ Matt Fraser went four for five and the West had hits on 27 attempts.

The West was awarded two goals while the East got one in the Pepsi Pass and Score event. Each goaltender faced three shooters in each of their respective heats.

The seventh and final event was the breakway relay. Each goaltender faced six shooters from the opposing team; the trio of Western goaltenders stopped each of the East’s 14 last attempts. Brayden McNabb, Michal Jordan, Matt Fraser, Ryan Hamilton, Mark Arcobello and Martin St. Pierre scored for the West, while just three players scored for the East. The six goals allowed the West the overall edge in the Skills Competition, and the team won 12-11.

Justin Peters was awarded CCM Top Goaltender award after going perfect in the breakaway relay and the pass and score event.

Teams will compete in the game portion of the 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts AHL All-Star Classic on January 28 at 7 p.m. EST.