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Chara wins XM NHL Hardest Shot

by Shawn P. Roarke
Zdeno Chara wasn't going to relinquish his hardest shot title without a fight. So he saved his best for last, ripping a record shot of 105.9 in the opening round of the championship round against Shea Weber to win his fourth-straight title and second in a row against Weber.

"Shea was shooting really awesome," Chara said. "I was not feeling that great, but thanks to the fans, they got me going.

Weber, who won the preliminary-round matchup, couldn't really hang his head. He took four shots in the competition and none registered under 103 mph.

Team Lidstrom's Brent Burns of Minnesota set the mark in the first round with a blast of 98.4 mph, and his opponent, David Backes of St. Louis, could not top it. The rookies, Cam Fowler from Team Lidstrom and Boston's Tyler Seguin from Team Staal, couldn't do it although the Bruin won the point for Team Staal with a shot of 95.7 mph.

But that was as long as Burns' mark stood as Chara, the defending champ, and Weber faced off in Round 3. And, the young gun took this duel in impressive fashion, throwing up a mark of 104.8 on his second attempt. That was better than Chara's best shot, 104.1 on his fIrst attempt.

Atlanta's Dustin Byfuglien also topped the 100-mph barrier, firing a 102.4-mph shot on his second try, but that was not good enough against the two masters.

Nobody else came close to those numbers and Chara earned a rematch in the final.

Alex Ovechkin actually had five attempts to beat the mark, hitting 98.2 on his first shot before breaking his stick on the second attempt and making two attempts that did not register b efore he hit 97.2 mph on his second attempts.
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