Another banner year at Flames SuperSkills Competition
Flames fans got to take in a little something different at the Pengrowth Saddledome Sunday as players showcased their skills in the team's annual Danone SuperSkills Competition.
After months of preparation, minor hockey kids from across Alberta got their chance to take on and compete against some of their hockey heroes -- which was no doubt a dream come true for many.
Flames players were split into two teams and joined by the top 16 Atom players from across the province, and although the competition was close, Team White squeaked by to win 10-9.
Flames Danone SuperSkills Competition
"It's unbelievable like it's been all year," Team White's Craig Conroy said of this year's fan turnout. "These fans have been great all year and hopefully they will continue that down the stretch."
Defenceman Adrian Aucoin was the surprise winner in one of the most anticipated contests -- the Hardest Shot Competition. Although fans anticipated blueliner Dion Phaneuf to be the obvious leader, Aucoin beat him out with a registered shot of 102.3 mph. Jarome Iginla came in second in the competition with 98.6 mph barely beating Phaneuf who registered 97.1 mph. Phaneuf was also outshot last season by then teammate Andrei Zyuzin.
And it wasn't just the fact that Aucoin took the cake in the competition, but it was that he did it with a wooden stick.
"It's hard to kick an old habit," Team Red's Aucoin said about his stick. "I think there are a lot of things out there that look good, but sometimes it's the good old fashion stuff that works, so you don't have to change much."
Team Red's Alex Tanguay also did exceptionally well in the shooting accuracy contest. In fact, the Flames' forward hit all four targets in only four attempts.
"I think I was four for six last year. I remember I couldn't raise the puck, so I was just lucky I guess," commented Tanguay.
"My best shot is low blocker, so I went low to try build up some confidence and hopefully hit one, but I think the main thing is take your time, settle the puck and make sure the puck is flat on your stick."
Other categories included a puck control relay, fastest skater and a breakaway relay.
Although he knocked down two pylons, defenceman Cory Sarich beat out fellow blueliner David Hale in the puck control relay, picking up the point for Team White.
"If you can't go around them, go thru them," Sarich joked after winning the contest.
No surprise, fastest skater went to speedy forward Matthew Lombardi, who grabbed the point for Team Red after completing a full lap around the ice in only 13.9 seconds.
The breakaway relay saw newcomer Curtis Joseph suit up and take his place between the posts as player after player took shots on him. A majority of the competitors in this contest got one for two or failed to sneak any past Cujo, except for Team White's Kristian Huselius, who made both shots count.
"He’s a good shooter and he’s been great on the shootouts," Tanguay said of fellow teammate Huselius. "He has all the confidence in the world in the shootouts right now and his moves are fun to watch."
All proceeds from the event were donated to the Flames Foundation For Life as well as the NHLPA's Goals & Dreams Foundation.