|Tom Gilbert went 6-for-6 in the Shootout Accuracy Competition. (photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
January 22, 2011 (Edmonton, Alberta) – Rexall Place was rocking with the sounds of cheers and the electric roar of thunder sticks today as the Edmonton Oilers hosted their annual Skills Competition powered by Reebok. More than 12,000 fans of all ages came out to support their favourite players in tests of skill, speed and accuracy, while another 20,000 fans watched the event live on edmontonoilers.com.
“We always have a lot of fun at the Skills Competition, and most importantly we try to make it fun for the fans,” said Oilers Captain Shawn Horcoff
. Kurtis Foster agreed saying, “It’s awesome to see all the people who came out today, especially all the kids. We thank them for being here.”
Team White jumped out to an early lead over and held out against a late surge by Team Orange, winning by a score of 22-20. It was the day of the defencemen in individual competitions, as blueliners won most of the events:
- Tom Gilbert’s precision in the Shooting Accuracy Competition was unparalleled, as he went a perfect 4 for 4 in the opening round and then out-lasted Sam Gagner in sudden death, finishing with a perfect 6 for 6.
- Defenceman Kurtis Foster took home honours of Hardest Shot, firing a 103.4 MPH cannon in the final round.
- Taylor Chorney darted around the ice in an impressive 13.94 seconds, taking home the Fastest Skater honours, topping last season’s champion Andrew Cogliano.
- Ryan Jones showed his speed and composure with the puck, winning the Puck Control Relay in the head-to-head final against Colin Fraser.
- While he no longer holds the title as the Oilers fastest skater, Andrew Cogliano took home a new title, deking and dangling his way to becoming the King of the Shootout.
|Linus Omark wowed some fans with his moves. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton OIlers Hockey Club) |
The newest addition to this year’s event saw 20 lucky fans receive sticks used by the Oilers in the today’s competition. The winners joined the team on the ice near the end of the event, where they each met a player and were given an autograph stick. At the end of the day, all fans went home with an exclusive poster commemorating the Skills Competition.
It was an extra special day for 16 members of the St. Albert Saints Peewee AA hockey team since they got to participate in the event, skating with the players on the ice and trying their abilities at the start of each drill. The Saints team was selected by a random draw of all the minor hockey teams who participated in this year’s Hockey Alberta Skills Challenge.
Proceeds of today’s event will benefit the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and the NHLPA Goals and Dreams Fund.
The Edmonton Oilers Skills Competition was powered by Reebook. In addition, the Oilers were proud to welcome official print partners The Edmonton Sun and official radio partners 630 CHED, Joe FM, CISN Country, and iNews 880.