TEAM WHITE WINS SUPERSKILLS COMPETITION
The way Mason Raymond has been putting on a show year after year at the annual Canucks Superskills Competition, it’ll only be a matter of time before he isn’t allowed to compete.
Raymond, the defending champion of the Fastest Skater Contest, retained his title and also became Vancouver’s most accurate shooter by winning the Accuracy Shooting challenge.
The bad news for Raymond is that his fantastic day wasn’t enough to lead Team Blue to a win on Sunday. Team White won for the third straight year, this time by a score of 15-13.
The Canucks, joined by the Westside Bantam Warriors, a minor hockey team that won the right to compete alongside their heroes by winning the Danone Superskills Contest, began the day by going head-to-head in a 3-on-3 Challenge.
Team White, featuring Roberto Luongo, Daniel Sedin, Jannik Hansen, Ryan Kesler, Christian Ehrhoff, Pavol Demitra, Alex Edler, Tanner Glass and Alex Burrows, edged Team Blue, composed of Darcy Hordichuk, Mikael Samuelsson, Henrik Sedin, Rick Rypien, Kyle Wellwood, Shane O’Brien, Andrew Raycroft and Raymond, to steal the first point and put them on the path to victory.
The Puck Relay was the second event and it pinned Daniel, Burrows and Ehrhoff against Henrik, Wellwood and Samuelsson with the former coming out on top. White wins again.
Of the six skaters who raced their way around the rink trying to win the Fastest Skater event, none were as fast as Raymond. His single loop of the ice left him with a blazing time of 13.47, narrowly clipping Hansen’s time of 13.66.
“Last year he forgot to take the first cone,” laughed Raymond, in reference to Hansen having been disqualified in 2009 for failing to follow instructions.
“It’s fun, you just want to concentrate on getting every stride in and skate as hard as you can in the straight-aways.”
That being said, Raymond was extra cautious to not take a spill like he did on the NHL’s biggest stage a year ago.
“I did it in the all-star game in Montreal. You’ve just got to be focused on your corners and do your best in the straights.”
Alex Edler went into the Hardest Shot contest as two-time defending champion and he didn’t disappoint with a blistering speed of 98.3 MPH on his first shot to claim top spot. Samuelsson had the next best speed at 97.4 MPH, with Ehrhoff and O’Brien finishing third and fourth, despite some protest from O’Brien.
“I wasn’t too happy with the competition today,” said Edler. “OB had something wrong the clock and with his stick, but there might have been something wrong with the clock actually.”
During the Accuracy Shooting, both Burrows and Raymond hit four targets, but it took Burrows two more shots to accomplish the feat. Raymond went 4-for-4 for the first time, joining the likes of Trevor Linden and Daniel Sedin as Canucks who have accurately hit the mark with only four shots.
After Luongo was a save or two better than Raycroft in the Power Play Competition and Breakaway Relay, the Canucks captain was awarded the shiny new Canucks Superskills trophy.
Watching the Canucks compete against one-another was exciting, but the highlight of this year’s event was Wellwood welcoming Glass to the team with a pie to the face. That really never gets old.
Net proceeds of the event go to the Canucks for Kids Fund, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams Fund, KidSport BC, the Britannia Hockey Academy, and the Boys & Girls Club Hockey Program. In 2009, this event raised in excess of $170,000 for the Canucks for Kids Fund, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams Fund, Ronald McDonald House British Columbia, KidSport BC and the Luc Bourdon Memorial Fund. The Canucks Centre for BC Hockey in partnership with BC Minor Hockey raised an additional $2500 for minor hockey teams throughout BC.
The Canucks for Kids Fund dedicates resources to assist charities who support children’s health and wellness, foster the development of grassroots hockey, and facilitate and encourage education in British Columbia. Thanks to the generosity of our fans, donors, players, employees and sponsor partners, the CFKF has granted over $28 million to charities in British Columbia over the last two decades serving over 85 different organizations helping them to reach their goals.