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Bell Skills Competition returns for a 12th year

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
"The Toronto Maple Leafs team will be joined by eight of Ontario's top Atom-age minor hockey players when they put their skills to the test at the Bell Maple Leafs Skills Competition at noon on Sunday, February 9 at Air Canada Centre.

Thousands of fans and the television audience of Leafs TV will catch the excitement as Leafs players team up with youngsters age 9 and 10.

Boys and girls compete in events designed to test their speed, agility, shooting accuracy and puck control.

"This is our most exciting community event," said Ken Dryden, president of the Maple Leafs. "For the Leafs players, bragging rights are at stake - who has the hardest shot? Who is the fastest skater? For the minor hockey players, this is a dream come true. The chance to test their skills along-side their NHL heroes, in front of a sold-out Air Canada Centre."

The on-ice events include the Kellogg's Puck Control Relay, the Bell Fastest Skater, Pizza Pizza Accuracy Shooting, the Orville Redenbacher Power Play Challenge, McDonald's Hardest Shot and the Parmalat Breakaway Relay.
Mats Sundin and Mikael Renberg marvel at one of last year's little wonders.

Each event, except the Power Play and Hardest Shot (Leaf-only drills), will see Leafs and youngsters taking turns testing their skills. The two-hour event has raised more than $950,000 for Leafs charities in the past 11 years.

The youth players participating in the Bell Maple Leafs Skills Competition will be the top eight atom-age players in Ontario, as selected by the Bell Skills First Challenge, taking place the morning of February 9.

The Bell Skills First Challenge is the culmination of a five-month process that began in September with 1,700 Atom-age players across Ontario being tested in six areas of skill: forward skating, backward skating, agility, puck control, accuracy and goaltending agility.

Elimination rounds narrowed the pool to the 100 youth players who will participate in the Bell Skills First Challenge to compete for a spot of the eight available to youth in the Bell Maple Leafs Skills Competition.

Scores and statistics of the 1,700 youth players who were tested are posted in the hockey development section of

Tickets for the Bell Maple Leafs Skills Competition are still available through Ticketmaster or the Air Canada Centre Ticket Office and priced at $11 for upper bowl seats and $15 for lower bowl seats.
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