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Team Blue topples Team White 22-13 at 2012 Oilers Skills Competition presented by ATB Financial

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers
Ben Eager is the Oilers’ quickest skater. Theo Peckham is the King of the Shootout. Unsurprisingly, Andy Sutton has the team’s hardest shot. Underdogs emerged as heroes Saturday at Rexall Place, as Team Blue escaped with a dominant 22-13 triumph over Team White at the 2012 Oilers Skills Competition presented by ATB Financial.

Team Blue:
Devan Dubnyk, Ladislav Smid, Andy Sutton, Jeff Petry, Shawn Horcoff, Taylor Hall, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager, Josh Green, Magnus Paajarvi

Team White:
Nikolai Khabibulin, Theo Peckham, Corey Potter, Colten Teubert, Anton Lander, Darcy Hordichuk, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Smyth, Ryan O'Marra, Sam Gagner

Skills Competition Recap:

Puck Control Relay - Team

Team Blue: Ben Eager, Shawn Horcoff, Ladislav Smid
Team White: Sam Gagner, Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky
  • First up were the pee-wees and, while the heat was dead even through the ice's 200-foot length, a tumble by the Blue skater in the relay's last corner propelled White to an early 1-0 lead.
  • Next, Ben Eager helped close the one-goal gap with a torrid start as he skated against Sam Gagner in the heat's opening race, dancing up and down the ice to secure an enormous Blue lead. Shawn Horcoff and Ladislav Smid completed the deal, beating out Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky with ease (and with No. 5 crossing the goal line backwards to rub some salt into White's losing wound).
  • SCORE: Blue 1 - White 1

Puck Control Relay - One-on-One

Team Blue: Magnus Paajarvi
Team White: Anton Lander
  • Anton Lander and Magnus Paajarvi put a stamp on the Puck Control Relay with a one-on-one race; the heat was even throughout, but a missed pylon by Lander secured the win and a one-goal Blue advantage.
  • SCORE: Blue 2 - White 1

Fastest Skater

Team Blue: Magnus Paajarvi, Jeff Petry, Taylor Hall
Team White: Ryan O'Marra, Anton Lander, Darcy Hordichuk
  • Once again, the pee-wees began the event and White's youngsters helped pull their colour even on the scoreboard. Blue's 17.3-second time was beat by White's total of 16.8 seconds.
  • Ben Eager stepped up for Blue looking to gain the edge once more and, with a time of 13.58 seconds, he did just that. White's Theo Peckham (14.47), Anton Lander (14.34) and Darcy Hordichuk (14.41) were unable to match the rugged winger's blistering pace. Jeff Petry and Taylor Hall helped maintain Eager's average (14.70 seconds - impressive, considering Petry clipped a cone - and 13.97 seconds respectively). With the quickest individual skater and highest team average, Blue collected another pair on the board.
  • SCORE: Blue 4 - White 2

Hardest Shot

Team Blue: Jeff Petry, Ladislav Smid, Andy Sutton, Josh Green
Team White: Corey Potter, Colten Teubert, Theo Peckham, Darcy Hordichuk
  • Blue and White's pee-wee entrants helped secure an additional point for each team.
  • Favourite Andy Sutton blasted the hardest bullet, cracking the 100mph barrier and denting the twine with a shot that landed at 102mph. Blue teammates Petry (99.7mph), Smid (97.3mph) and Josh Green (92.3mph) also helped the coloured squad achieve the highest average, securing another point in the process. White's Theo Peckham surprised, cranking a shot at 98.8mph to gain his side's highest total. Corey Potter (93.3mph), Colten Teubert (96.5mph) and Darcy Hordichuk (92.7) dropped White's average to give up a pair in the event.
  • SCORE: Blue 6 - White 3

Shooting Accuracy

Team Blue: Andy Sutton, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager
Team White: Corey Potter, Ryan Smyth, Sam Gagner
  • Blue's pee-wees earned another blue point before the big guns stepped up, dismantling three targets on eight attempts. The white counterpart nearly matched that total, but was unable to with a 2-8 success rate.
  • Blue looked to continue its hot hand with Sutton's big stick, but the lumbering rearguard clanked four-straight posts and was only able to blast through a pair of targets on eight shots. White's Potter did slightly better, destroying three targets with the same number of attempts; but it was in the third round when the Oilers' snipers took control. Sam Gagner went 4-5, while Taylor Hall hit all four as well, but on an additional two shots. Ryan Smyth landed two targets on eight shots, while his opponent Ryan Jones knocked all four on six attempts.
  • In total, Blue won with the highest average, going 10-21 overall.
  • SCORE: Blue 7 - White 4

Round 1

Team Blue: Shawn Horcoff, Magnus Paajarvi, Taylor Hall
Team White: Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Smyth
  • Blue's trio struggled to beat Nikolai Khabibulin, scoring only once in the one-minute duration; it came late, too, when Taylor Hall broke in alone and deposited the puck past the 39-year-old netminder.
  • White one-upped their counterparts, scoring a pair amid Ladislav Smid's valianet defensive work and much to the chagrin of Devan Dubnyk in goal.
Round 2

Team Blue: Josh Green, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager
Team White: Anton Lander, Ryan O'Marra, Darcy Hordichuk.
  • Blue's Ben Eager dominated the competition, scoring several and propelling Blue to pot four throughout the one-minute sequence.
  • White, needing a response, was unable to do so. Smid and Dubnyk came up big, exhausting their opponent and chasing them (and the puck) around the zone. White added one behind No. 40, but Blue extended to an even greater lead.
  • SCORE: Blue 12 - White 7

King of the Shootout

Group 1

Team Blue: Andy Sutton, Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry
Team White: Corey Potter, Theo Peckham, Colten Teubert
  • Sutton opened the scoring on the event's initial shot; he wasted little time, skating in and blasting a slapper upstairs on Khabibulin. Looking to even the score, White's Peckham skated in and made a move on Dubnyk, but the goalie tossed his stick in No. 24's direction, inciting a re-do. On his next attempt, Peckham skated in and snapped a shot upstairs to record the equalizer.
Group 2

Team Blue: Josh Green, Magnus Paajarvi, Ben Eager
Team White: Dary Hordichuk, Ryan O'Marra, Anton Lander
  • Looking to replicate his move from last year's event, Paajarvi skated in and dangled his stick between his legs, but as he got closer to the net, his bumbled the puck and coughed up the chance. Anton Lander, best known for his slick shootout skills, completed the deal as he coasted in and pulled a 'Forsberg' on an unsuspecting Dubnyk, who remained motionless on the ice for several moments in awe.
Group 3

Team Blue: Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Jones, Taylor Hall
Team White: Ryan Smyth, Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky
  • Ryan Jones, who's scored several goals this season on breakaways, opened up Khabibulin with a slick move as he slid the puck past Khabibulin to add another on Blue's side. Gagner tried a similar move to last season, but lost control and crashed into Dubnyk to cancel the opportunity. No others would score, but Hall's move late in the event dazzled everyone in attendance. With the help of his opponent (Gagner), the sophomore raced in and chipped the puck in on the netting behind Khabibulin; No. 89 scooped it up with his hand, tossed it into the slot over the goalie's head as Hall knocked it in on goal out of mid-air. Khabibulin was equal to the task, mind you.
  • In the sudden death portion, Sutton attempted the 'Forsberg' move but was stoned. Fellow blueliner Peckham took advantage, skating in and potting the puck upstairs with a slick backhand shot on Dubnyk's glove side. As a result, Peckham was named the King of the Shootout.
  • SCORE: Blue 14 - White 10

3-on-3 Challenge

Team Blue vs. Team White
  • Blue wasted no time in extending the team's advantage; an additional four goals were scored early on when Ryan Jones, Shawn Horcoff, Taylor Hall and Andy Sutton all beat Khabibulin when they cashed on in-tight opportunities to make it an 18-10 game.
  • Sutton and Jones added another each, but Ryan Smyth replied with a pair to cut Blue's dominant advantage. Dubnyk was hung out to dry later on, as Sam Gagner broke in and deposited another for the colourless team.
  • Late in the game and with White in need of a goal or seven, Anton Lander tied up Ryan Jones in the corner, leaving Dubnyk on his own once more. White's bench cleared and broke in on on a commanding 7-on-0 opportunity; they scored, of course, but the damage had already been done. In total, Blue outscored the opponent by an 8-3 margin en route to a 22-13 win overall.
  • FINAL SCORE: Blue 22 - White 13

--- Ryan Dittrick, - Follow me on Twitter | @ryandittrick


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