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Team Black Edges Team White in Inaugural Skills Showdown

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
George Parros provided one of the highlights of the event when he went 4 for 4 in the Shooting Accuracy challenge. 

By Adam Brady

ANAHEIM – Captain Teemu Selanne’s Team Black edged Todd Marchant’s Team White, 14-12 in the inaugural Skills Showdown in front of an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 6,000 Saturday afternoon at Honda Center.

Following a practice in the Ducks’ home rink in front of season tickets holders, doors were opened to the general public for the Skills Showdown, in which Ducks players were split into teams selected by the two captains. Each team also had five youth players, who led off each of the six skills challenges and were counted in the scoring.

The challenges included Breakaway Relay, Power Play, Control Relay, Fastest Skater, Shooting Accuracy and Hardest Shot. Captains Selanne and Marchant picked their teams and chose which players would take part in each challenge.

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One of the highlights of the event came during the Shooting Accuracy challenge, which George Parros – not normally known for his shot – won with a perfect 4-for-4 performance. Parros nailed the last Styrofoam target in one of the top corners with a wrist shot, drawing a loud roar from the crowd before he was mobbed by his Team White mates.

“There was not one doubt in my mind about winning this,” Parros said with a smirk. “I told [Corey] Perry that I was going to beat him to a hat trick [this season] and I didn’t, so I knew I had to beat him to this one.” (Perry went 4 for 5 in the competition, while Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan each went 4 for 6.)

“I’ve had some success with this in the past, but I’ve never pulled off a 4-for-4,” Parros said. “So I’m pretty pleased. I’ve set the bar kind of high.”

Paul Mara had the top mark in the Hardest Shot competition, clocking 100.7 mph
Nineteen-year-old rookie Cam Fowler blazed around the Honda Center rink to capture the Fastest Skater competition with a time of 13.945, just edging Dan Sexton’s 14,011.  A noticeably heavy-breathing Fowler was interviewed immediately after, saying he was winded because, “Todd Marchant made me do all the skating challenges.”

Said Fowler after the event, “The guys put up some good times, but It’s always fun to be able to win one. It’s definitely an honor. I was happy.”

Of Sexton, he added, “These times can be deceiving sometimes. He’s still probably one of the fastest guys on the team.”

Paul Mara helped Team Black’s cause by winning the Hardest Shot with a top mark among his two tries of 100.7 mph, narrowly beating fellow defenseman Andy Sutton (99.89) and Luca Sbisa (99.5).

“I haven’t really measured that in about 8 or 10 years,” said the veteran Mara. “Andy Sutton and I had a little side bet there and he sawed my stick behind my back. But it didn’t break, so maybe it helped me.

Captain Teemu Selanne was awarded a ceramic pig for his Team Black's victory.
“I knew there were a few guys on the team who shoot pretty hard – Sutton, Beleskey and others. But my shot was able to hold up.”
The Breakaway Relay involved players trying one-on-one moves with Ducks goalies Jonas Hiller and Curtis McElhinney, with none of the trio of shooters getting more than one goal in the time allotted. The Power Play involved three skaters vs. one defenseman and a goalie, with all four threesomes getting two goals apiece in their 1-minute window.

Parros was pleased with the enthusiasm of the crowd. “I loved it,” he said. “They’re always pretty vocal and there was an entertaining couple of minutes there for me personally, so thank you, fans.”

Added Mara, “It was a lot of fun. It’s always fun for the fans to see us compete against each other. It was nice to see such a good turnout.”

Team Black Team White
Teemu Selanne (Captain) Todd Marchant (Captain)
Matt Beleskey Andy Sutton
Andreas Lilja Bobby Ryan
Corey Perry Brandon McMillan
Lubomir Visnovsky Cam Fowler
Maxim Lapierre George Parros
Paul Mara Joffrey Lupul
Kyle Chipchura Saku Koivu
Dan Sexton Sheldon Brookbank
Luca Sbisa Toni Lydman
Aaron Voros Jason Blake
Jonas Hiller Curtis McElhinney

Youth Players

Youth Players
Collin Hardy Brad Hardy
Alex Catanzariti McKenna Webster
Cameron York Taylor Urch
Andrew Urch Junior Delgado
Nikki Langley Jordan Eisenmann

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