The Anaheim Ducks took a break between their Friday/Sunday games on Saturday afternoon and decided to show off their skills when they opened their Saturday morning practice to season ticket holders.
After the session was over, the Ducks held their first annual Skills Showdown. Those who showed up to practice were welcome to stay and non-season ticket holders were able to purchase tickets for $10.
The event’s attendance filled the lower bowl and some of the club level of the Honda Center. The Ducks were divided into two teams (white and black) and each team was also assigned members of the junior Ducks who would be competing alongside the pros.
The skills events on display for the afternoon were: a Breakaway Competition, a One-Minute Power Play Contest, a Puck-handling relay, Fastest Skate, Accuracy and Hardest Shot.
One of the highlights for the fans was without question, Teemu Selanne scoring during the power play competition. The crowd roared, but it was not surprising considering Selanne had two power play goals in the game against the Columbus blue Jackets the night before in the Ducks 6-0 win.
The crowd was also enthused when NHL rookie, Cam Fowler (19) won the fastest skate competition. A three-foot lane was set up along the outer boards of the rink and various players skated around the rink, sans puck, and aimed to get the fastest time.
Fowler surprised everyone by skating around the rink in a mere 13.945 seconds, barely beating out predicted favorite, Dan Sexton by .066 seconds.
“It was good. The guys put up some good times, but it’s always fun to be able to win one,” Fowler claimed. “Definitely an honor.”
However, one of the most surprising moments of the competition occurred during the accuracy portion. Four targets were placed in each of the four corners of the net and players were given thirty seconds to hit all four. Both Selanne and Bobby Ryan hit all four in six attempts, Corey Perry completed it in five.
The last player to attempt was George Parros. Parros went 4-4, hitting all four targets in only four shots, winning the accuracy portion of the competition.
Parros was all smiles in the locker room after the event.
“There was not one doubt in my mind (that he could win),” said an estatic Parros. “I’ve had some success in the past. I’ve gone four-for-five in the past couple of years but had never pulled off a four-for-four so I’m pretty pleased.”
The Black team, led by Selanne, ended up winning the competition 14-12, but the entire team is hoping the energy and momentum from this event carry over to their game against the San Jose Sharks Sunday night.