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by Rob Crean / Buffalo Sabres

Sabres forward Tyler Ennis was a member of the winning team at the Honda NHL SuperSkills Competition on Saturday night at the RBC Center in Carolina as Team Staal came away with a 33-22 victory.


Ennis competed in the G Series Skills Challenge Relay, a new event this year that was an all-around showcase of skills.  It featured a challenge in one-timers, passing, puck control, stick-handling and accuracy shooting in a series of relays. 

The one-timer segment required three shooters, with the assistance of a passer, to each score on three one-timers before moving on.  In the passing event, one player needed to thread a pass into six different nets set up around the rink.  The puck control event required one player to navigate through a series of cones while maintaining control of the puck, and in the accuracy shooting part, one shooter took aim at four targets located in a goal.  Each skill needed to be completed before the group could move on to the next part of the timed event.

Photo: Bill Wippert

Ennis handled the puck control duties for his group, flawlessly maneuvering through the Gatorade bottle cones to help his team to a 2:18 time in the first heat, which was good for second place.  The rest of Ennis’ group consisted of Zdeno Chara, Eric Staal, Daniel Sedin (one-timer shooters), Eric Karlsson (one-timer passer), Dan Boyle (passing), Paul Stastny (stickhandling) and Corey Perry (accuracy shooting).

Team Lidstrom eventually won the relay event, with a group that finished the relay in 2:09.  By finishing with the second fastest time, Ennis’ group picked up three points for Team Staal in the overall scoring for the competition.

Each player in the SuperSkills Competition also took part in the final event of the night, the Elimination Shootout.  Ennis was the second player to go for Team Staal and was denied in his only attempt by Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury.  Corey Perry was the last man standing and won the event.


2011 Honda NHL SuperSkills

Ennis will get to enjoy Sunday’s All-Star Game as a fan, as the 12 rookies elected to take part in the weekend festivities won’t play in the game, but will leave Carolina with great memories and a taste of life among the NHL’s elite.

Be sure to tune in to the 2011 NHL All-Star Game Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on Versus.

The Sabres will return to action with back-to-back games next weekend, beginning Friday, Feb. 4 at Pittsburgh.  The following night, they’ll return to Buffalo to host Toronto.

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