Earlier this afternoon, Chris Phillips and Erik Karlsson split the Sens roster in two with each squad competing in a variety of different on-ice events to see which team would claim the 2015 Sens Skills presented by Sport Chek trophy.
Ultimately, Team Phillips edged Team Karlsson by a score of 15-14 and here's how the day went down...
TSN 1200 puck control relay
The trio of Kyle Turris, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mika Zibanejad secured the first event of the afternoon for Team Karlsson as they were able to out-maneuver Team Phillips's group of Mike Hoffman, Cody Ceci and Eric Condra in the puck control relay. In the individual competition, a very busy Hoffman took a controversial decision of Erik Karlsson to even the score.
Mark’s fastest skater
It was a clean sweep for Team Phillips as Hoffman's blazing lap time of 13.829 seconds was good enough to win the individual competition as well as help lower his team's average time to 14.399 seconds.
"I got to do it in the AHL and I was here last year and did it so this was my third time." said Hoffman. "It's about technique and how you take the corners than it is how fast you are so it's a little bit of strategy in there."
Freedom 55 hardest shot
The hardest shot competition was again dominated by Team Black. Jared Cowen set a new team record after blasting a shot 106.3 MPH, besting the previous record set by Mika Zibanejad last year. Here's a great look at the monstrous clapper courtesy of Erik Condra's Instagram:
Caught the 106.3mph Cowen bomb today at #sensskills #slowmo
"Usually when I do the hardest shot things," Cowen told the media after the event, "I always seem to screw it up somehow so it's nice to actually get a hard one there."
When asked to further explain the result Cowen said: "Every radar is different it feels like and every year is different. You've got to hit the sweet spot. If you go too high it's too soft or slow. You have to really aim it."
CAA accuracy shooting
The duo of Clarke MacArthur and Mike Hoffman each went a perfect 4-for-4 in the accuracy shooting event and collectively Team Phillips's shooters, which also included Mark Stone, went 11-16 to claim another two points.
Accuracy shooting is something quite familiar to MacArthur. "I think I went 4-for-5 at the AHL All-Star game and that was good enough to win it." he said. "I've got the plaque above my fireplace if you want to come over and see it."
The top shooters from each team then faced off in an individual, one-target shootout but after several rounds and in the interest of time and targets, a draw was declared between MacArthur and Team Karlsson's Bobby Ryan.
"Hoffy went 4-for-4 too." MacArthur continued, "He kinda got scammed out of the whole deal. That's what you get when you're young."
Canadian Tire skills challenge
Finally getting back into the win column, Team Karlsson harnessed all their skill to best Team Phillips in an event that featured an array of required talents, including one-timers, saucer passes and odd-man rushes.
Sport Chek elimination shootout
In the day's final event, Team Karlsson came extremely close to completing the comeback and came within one shot of tying things up. Kyle Turris won the individual event but was unable to beat Team Phillips's Craig Anderson on his final breakaway attempt and secured the 15-14 victory for Team Black with the save.
"We came close but unfortunately we failed, especially in the Hardest Shot." Team Red captain Erik Karlsson said post-event. "Their team really stepped up and that's probably why they won the whole thing."
"I think it's great for the kids." Karlsson continued about Sens Skills, "It's nothing serious and we can relax a bit more. I would like to go to something like this if I were a kid so it's good."
And speaking of kids, a group of minor hockey competitors took part in all the events from Sens Skills and definitely held their own.
Thanks again to 10,000+ Sens fans that came out to Canadian Tire Centre today to take part in an always entertaining competition. For more pictures, check out our full photo gallery here.