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Nashville Wins 3 Titles at Ace's Got Skills National Event

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
Youth Hockey Players Bring Home National Titles

2009 Ace's Got Skills Recap
Photo Gallery: Nationals in NYC
Middle Tennesse Ace's Got Skills Regional (Jan. 2009)
Photo Gallery: Local Regional events  
The 2009 Ace’s Got Skills Championships were held in New York at the Aviator Sports Complex from June 26th - June 28th. The event included over 100 competitors from twelve states and Canada, including 13 youth hockey players representing the Nashville Predators who had advanced from their results at Nashville and Huntsville competitions this past February. The 2009 event welcomed squirt and pee wee-aged house and travel youth hockey players from the Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal Canadians, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and regions.

The events began Friday with the Eastern Conference Skills Competitions, followed by a full day Saturday of Western Conference Skill Competitions. On Sunday the top two squirt and pee wee, house and travel participants from each skills category from the previous days competitions returned to compete for a National title in their respective skill. Following the Finals all participants competed in a friendly East vs. West Scrimmage. The 2009 Ace’s Got Skills Championships concluded with an award ceremony later that afternoon.

Ace’s Got Skills was launched was launched in memory of Garnet “Ace” Bailey - an 11-year veteran of the NHL and a two-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Boston Bruins (1970 and 1972). On September 11, 2001, Ace was performing his duties as director of pro scouting for the Los Angeles Kings when his plane struck one of the World Trade Center Towers. Proceeds from the event benefit the Ace Bailey’s Children’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

Noteworthy highlights from the Nashville Predators competitions included:
  • Jordan Rippy, Nashville Predators, won the Pee Wee House Hardest Shot competition
  • Thomas Neal, representing the Nashville Predators in the Accuracy competition, emerged as the winner in the Pee Wee House division.
  • In the Sports Illustrated Kids Top Skills Goalie competition, Pee Wee James Mainland, Nashville Predators, defended his 2008 Top Skills Goalie title with a repeat winning performance in 2009.
Nashville Predators representatives at the Ace’s Got Skills 2009 Nationals:

Squirt House Position Skill (s) Results  
Tyler Grosse Goalie Goalie Goalie - 3rd Place  
Hometown: Franklin, TN Local Organization: A-Game Sportsplex  
Benjamin Williams Defense Accuracy Accuracy - 2nd Place  
Hometown: Nashville, TN Local Organization:  A-Game Sportsplex  
Jacob Kovick Forward Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot    
Hometown: Brentwood, TN Local Organization: A-Game Sportsplex  
Squirt Travel Position Skill (s) Results  
Kyle Kawamura Forward  Fastest Skater, Accuracy,Hardest Shot Fastest Skater - 3rd Place;
Hardest Shot - 3rd Place
Hometown: Franklin, TN Local Organization: Tennessee Storm    
Blake Harlow Defense Shootout, Top Skills Shootout - 4th Place  
Hometown:  Pelham, AL Local Organization: Pelham Alabama    
Dan Vinson Dill, III (Trey) Goalie Goalie    
Hometown: Springfield, TN Local Organization: Nashville Ice Tigers  
Pee Wee House Position Skill (s) Results  
Jordan Rippy Defense  Hardest Shot Hardest Shot - Champion  
Hometown: Hendersonville, TN Local Organization: NYHL    
Thomas Neal Forward  Accuracy, Shootout Accuracy - Champion;
Shootout - 3rd Place
Hometown: Franklin, TN Local Organization: A-Game Sportsplex  
Steven Butler Defense Fastest Skater, Top Skills    
Hometown: Madison, AL Local Organization: Huntsville Amateur Hockey Association  
Simon Ivey Goalie Goalie    
Hometown: Brentwood, TN Local Organization: A-Game Sportsplex  
Pee Wee Travel Position Skill (s) Results  
Matthew Kandel Forward Accuracy, Hardest Shot Hardest Shot - 4th Place;
Accuracy - 3rd Place
Hometown: Spring Hill, TN Local Organization: NYHL    
James Mainland Goalie Goalie Goalie - 2nd Place;
Top Skills Goalie - Champion
Hometown:  Hendersonville, TN Local Organization: TPH Thunder '97 AAA  
Micheal Nodarse Forward  Fastest Skater; Shootout Fastest Skater - 4th Place;
Shootout - 3rd Place
Hometown: Evansville, IN Local Organization: Swonder Ice Arena  
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