October 09, 2010

Ottawa 67's Skills Competition

The Ottawa 67's held their first skills competition today as a special perk to season ticket holders. It also served as a creative way to get a different type of practice in as the boys have two days off before Monday's game in Oshawa.

They were broken into two teams and I tried to get all the numbers. Wearing the white jerseys (in no particular order): Zanetti, Prince, Ceci, Nesbitt, Shipley, Lindsay, Graovac, Hanes, Smith, and Fantana. In black jerseys: Monahan Martindale, Toffoli, Fielding, Foglia, Carnevale, Giftopolous, Janes, Sedlak. Perugini, Mrazek and Campbell were pretty much on their own team really. Gibbons was there (more on him later) but did not play.

Jon Abbott and Lee Versage were the hosts.

The first skill test was the team puck control where the competitors had to skate to the far end of the ice, pick up a puck and slalom skate with it through some pylons. Team White had Hanes, Shipley and Prince and Team Black had Janes, Foglia and Fielding. Janes blew a tire picking up the puck and Hanes gave Team White a big lead. Foglia and Fielding tried their best to close the gap but Team White took the first point.

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Then it was a head-to-head test between Thomas Nesbitt and Ryan Martindale. It was really close but the line judges gave it to Nesbitt and Team White was up by two.

The second event was the fastest skaters with each team having three players skate a full circuit of the ice. Team White made up of Nesbitt, Ceci and Smith handily beat Team Black skaters Carnevale, Foglia and Sedlak. Score: 3 - 0 for Team White.

Next up, the shootout. Each team had four players take a shot on two of the goalies. Cody Lindsay of Team White was the only player to score a goal. Team mates Fontana, Graovac and Hanes were stoned by Mrazek while Perugini was perfect against Team Black members Toffoli, Giftopolous, Martindale (I think) and Janes. Team White was up by 4 after this.

Event 4 was the hardest shot and once two of Ottawa's finest realized that they had to get in the line of danger (get on ice behind the net) for the radar gun to register the puck, the competition was on.

I lost track of the shooters but Adam Sedlak from Team Black clearly had the hardest shot - by a decent margin. On the other hand, Dalton Smith ended up with the not-so-hardest shot. He had to take a lot off his shot because he kept missing the net and the puck bounced off the glass back at the police officers. Lindsay and Toffoli offered their helmets to the officers which they accepted. Team Black was finally on the scoreboard with their first point.

Then there was another shootout, this time with different players. I really lost track of things at this point but I think Team Black was starting to get back into the game.

For the accuracy test each player had 8 pucks to put 1 through each corner of the shooter-tutor. It was Tyler Graovac of Team White who accomplished the mission to give his team another point.

There were more shootouts with players now trying to get fancier in their attempts to deke out the goalie.

Team Black made it close, getting within one but it was Team White prevailing in the first Skills Competition.

To wrap things up, there was a 4-on-4, 20-minute, non-stop scrimmage between the two teams - no slap shots. By all indications, the boys had a good time. Team Black took an early lead that they kept building but slowly Team White picked away at it and actually had a 1-goal lead going into the final seconds. Team Black tied it up and they were off to sudden death overtime. I believe it was Shane Prince of Team White who quickly ended the game with the GWG. So, full bragging rights of the day go to Team White.

Closing Thoughts
  • It looked like the team really enjoyed themselves today and the coaching staff had an opportunity to throw some variety into what might have been just another Saturday practice. While they were having fun, they were also working hard and there was enough healthy competition to keep up a good tempo to the scrimmage.
  • The goalies were getting a good workout too and fans had a chance to see Shayne Campbell, the newest addition to the team.

  • Had a chance to chat with Travis Gibbons. Fortunately (!) his knee is not injured; he was charley-horsed. He's moving about with the aid of a cane and taking the appropriate treatments to get him back in his skates as soon as he is ready.
  • The Plymouth Whalers were just wrapping up their practice when I got to the rink and I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Peter Krupsky, long-time broadcaster of the Plymouth Whalers.
You can see more pictures from the day here.

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