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Rookies steal show in Fastest Skater competition

by Dan Rosen

KANATA, Ont. -- The rookies stole the show in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater event Saturday night at Scotiabank Place.
Carl Hagelin of Team Alfredsson and Colin Greening of Team Chara blew away the field in the first event of the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition. Hagelin, the Rangers' rookie speedster, emerged as the overall winner in the final heat by edging the Senators' Greening with a time of 13.218 seconds. Greening was clocked at 13.303 seconds.
Team Alfredsson was credited with the overall win in the competition by winning four heats to Team Chara's two.


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"I never have really done that exact circuit. It was a pretty tight turn," Hagelin told "I thought it was just going to be a lap, but I went against a fast guy, which obviously helped. When you're going against a fast guy you usually skate a little bit faster."
Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson of Team Alfredsson finished with the second-fastest time at 13.021 seconds. Kris Letang edged Brian Campbell in the backwards skating heat and Jonathan Quick beat Jimmy Howard in the goaltender's heat. Quick finished in 16.939 seconds while Howard was a distant 17.514.
"I got smoked," Howard said. "It was pretty bad. It was to the point where Quickie could basically even stop and look back at me."
One of Team Chara's winning heats came from Greening, who edged Hagelin in their first rookie heat with an event-best time of 12.963 seconds. However, part of the reason Greening earned the victory is he stuck out his stick to beat Hagelin, who finished the first heat in 12.993 seconds.
"He knew about that trick there," Hagelin said. "I didn't know about that one."
"Oh, it was on purpose," Greening told "I knew he had me beat in terms of body position, so when I could I tried to reach my stick out as much as I could. He's a good skater."
Hagelin was better in the second heat, so he took home the trophy as the NHL's Fastest Skater this season.
"We came here to win," Hagelin joked.
Both rookies said the overall experience of participating in All-Star Weekend was one to remember, especially because they got to see Zdeno Chara blast the puck into the net at 108.8 miles per hour.
"Just seeing Chara shoot that hard, seeing guys making a lot of sweet moves, and getting to chat them up, it was a lot of fun," Hagelin said.
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