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Top Prospects show their skills

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Alex Pietrangelo of the Niagara Ice Dogs shoots on Peter Delmas from the Lewiston MAINEiacs in the three-on-three event at the Skills Competition.

Edmonton, AB -  The Top Prospects put on a show.  The 2008 CHL/NHL Home Hardware Skills Competition turned out to be a fun-filled night at Rexall Place and fans got a sneak peak of just how good these kids are as the Top 40 Prospects in the country prepare for the All-Star showcase Wednesday night.  To say this year's draft is deep is an understatement.About 9,000 fans turned out to witness the talent level and skills the best prospects in the world had to offer.  They did not go home disappointed.  Team White coached by Grant Fuhr, Glenn Anderson and Don Nachbaur jumped out to the early lead after winning the Puck Control Relay with some nice moves from the winning team of Edmonton native Tyler Ennis of the Medicine Hat Tigers along with Zach Bogosian of the Peterborough Petes and Nicolas Deschamps from Chicoutimi.  Kelsey Tessier of the Quebec Ramparts tied it up for Team Red coached by Lanny McDonald, Mike Vernon and Kelly Kisio after winning the one on one race with Cody Hodgson.

The fastest skater of the night turned out to be Kelowna Rocket Brandon McMillan turning around the pylons and circling the rink with a blistering time of 13.897 seconds.

The hardest shot competition turned out to be a close call between a couple of Western Hockey League boys with Saskatoon's Jyri Niemi booming a 97 mph slap shot to edge Kelowna Rocket Luke Schenn's pair of 94 mph shots.

The sharp shooter of the night vaulting himself to Ray Bourque comparisons was Michael Del Zotto of the Oshawa Generals who was a deadly 4 for 4 picking his targets off one by one.

Team Red pulled ahead in the overall scoring with 3 more goals in the Breakaway relay which was highlighted by a shutout performance from Robert Mayer from the Saint John Sea Dogs from Team Red in the first round.  Goalie Thomas McCollum  of the Guelph Storm equaled the feat in the second round for Team White.  That meant that Team Red had a commanding 10 - 5 lead heading into the fast and furious 3 on 3 challenge.

After a flurry of goals in the second half of the 3 on 3 game, Team Red prevailed by a final score of 17 - 9 wining the Lorne Davis Award in honor of the long time Edmonton Oilers scout that passed away recently after a bout with cancer.

The evening was also highlighted by a very humble and helpful group of local celebrities from the media including Jason Gregor from Just A Game on the TEAM 1260 who served as the night's co-host, the Bear's Todd James, Joe FM's Gary James, Ken Reid and Dave Mitchell from CFRN TV, Bob Stauffer of the TEAM 1260, John Sexsmith of Global Sports, Min Dhariwal of CBC and Nick Lees from the Edmonton Journal.

Glenn Anderson even laced up the skates and took a spin afterwards to take some shots on the BEAR's morning show DJ's Paul Brown and Yukon Jack for their $10,000 Charity Challenge.  Glenn took it pretty easy on the announcers who won't be giving up their day jobs anytime soon.

Next up will be the 2008 CHL/NHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game, 7 p.m. at Rexall Place on Wednesday night.
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