After the tremendous success of the inaugural event, anticipation is high for the upcoming Ace's Got Skills competition. Last year's edition saw four of the nine youth players representing the Ducks come home with titles at the National Championships in New York City. Several youth players will hope to duplicate that success, taking the first steps at local competitions held in November.
The three local events will be held Nov. 14 from 6:15-9:15 p.m. at Aliso Viejo Ice Palace, Nov. 16 at the Westminster Ice Arena from 6:15-9:15 p.m. and Nov. 18 from 1-4 p.m. at Anaheim Ice. Anaheim Ducks players Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf will be present on the ice to participate and give instruction to participants.
The Ace's Got Skills competition is open to boys and girls ages 9-12. The competition tests skill level in five different categories: Skating, Shooting Accuracy, Hardest Shot, Breakaway Shootout and Goaltending.
Registration is $20 and each youth only needs to compete in one local level competition. If they win a skill in that competition they qualify for the National Championships, held in New York City in the spring. Participants are divided into \'Travel\' and \'House\' levels to create the most balanced competitive environment, and there will be winners at both levels.
Registration for this year's event is available at www.acesgotskills.com. Anyone interested can also pick up registration sheets at the three ice rinks that will be hosting local competitions.
Launched in September 2004, Ace's Got Skills is modeled after the NHL's All-Star Super Skills Competition. A total of 61 kids representing nine U.S. states competed at the National Championships last year. They were winners of the six regional/local Got Skills competitions, which were held and hosted by NHL clubs during the past season: the Ducks, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars.
Several youths representing the Ducks shined last year at the National Championships. Max Becker of Orange (hardest shot, shootout), T.J. Sneath of Chino (accuracy, shootout), Jeremiah Goddard of Long Beach (hardest shot) and Patrick Leahy of Coto de Caza (accuracy) all brought home championships. Becker and Sneath also each captured Sports Illustrated for Kids Top Skills Awards, which went to the participant who had the best average score across all of the events.
A portion of the "Ace's Got Skills" registration fees benefit the Ace Bailey Children's Foundation, an organization dedicated to the well being of children undergoing major medical treatment in hospitals. The foundation seeks to improve hospital programs, environments and professional services that reduce the stress of hospitalization for newborns, children and their families.
The competition and foundation's namesake, Ace Bailey, played 11 seasons in the NHL on five different teams and won two Stanley Cup trophies with the Boston Bruins in 1970 and 1972. After his playing career, he joined the Edmonton Oilers scouting staff before serving as the Director of Pro Scouting for the Los Angeles Kings for seven years. He was killed on September 11, 2001 in the terrorist attacks as he was on board a flight to Los Angeles for the Kings' training camp.
For more information, download the Registration Form here.