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Weber wins Hardest Shot competition

by Arpon Basu

COLUMBUS -- Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators won the AMP NHL Hardest Shot competition at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday, yet he still managed to come up just short to Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, who isn't even in Columbus.

Weber's final shot of the competition was clocked at 108.5 miles per hour, beating Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin's speed of 101.4 mph in the first heat to claim the overall hardest shot crown.

At the 2012 All-Star Weekend in Ottawa, Chara set the record in the event with a shot of 108.8 mph, but Chara was not named to the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game this year and therefore could not defend his title.

For a while it looked as though no one would come close to matching what Chara did at the last event. Of the first seven shooters, no one other than Ovechkin crossed the 100 mph mark. San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns had the distinction of hitting the "slowest" shot, 93.3 mph.

Weber was matched with Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien in the final heat, but Byfuglien's shots were measured at 95.8 and 97.3 mph, hardly a challenge for Weber's booming shot. However, Weber missed the net on his first attempt, meaning his speed of 101.8 mph did not count.

That set the stage for Weber's final attempt. He didn't disappoint.

Team Foligno won the competition overall by a score of 3-2 because Ovechkin, Burns and Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning each won their heat. Weber got Team Toews two points by himself for winning his heat and the overall title.

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