Kelowna, B.C. – Team Orr pulled off a 15-9 win over Team Cherry in the 2012 Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects skills Competition on Tuesday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna, B.C.
After taking a 7-2 lead through four skills events, Pat Quinn’s Team Orr squad managed an 8-7 win in the 3-on-3 challenge to seal the Skills Competition victory.
Francis Beauvillier of the Rimouski Oceanic took the Fastest Skater event, clocking a time of 14.132, while Beauvillier’s Team Orr also had the best average time of 14.524 to give them a 2-0 lead after the first event.
“My legs were going,” said Beauvillier. “I was a bit nervous, and I almost fell, but it worked out pretty good.”
Nick Ebert of the Windsor Spitfires blasted a 94.7mph shot to take home Hardest Shot honors and get Mark Recchi’s Team Cherry on the board. Team Orr, however, claimed another point with the hardest shot average at 91.9mph. Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips was a close second to Ebert, blasting a 94.3mph shot for Team Cherry.
“I definitely didn’t count myself out at first,” said Ebert. “I knew there were a lot of great players in the event, and I was fortunate to win so it’s pretty exciting.”
Up next was the Shooting Accuracy event, which ended up being decided in a playoff. Team Orr’s Gianluca Curcuruto of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds went 1-for-1 in the playoff, defeating Team Cherry’s Scott Laughton of the Oshawa Generals after both players went 4-for-5 in the first round. The teams finished tied at 13-for-28 in the team total targets hit, giving each team a point to leave Team Orr up 5-2.
“It’s definitely different from shooting in my basement,” said Curcuruto. “The nerves were going a bit, but I tried to keep it calm, cool and collected and hope for the best.”
The final skills event, the Show-Down Breakaway Challenge, was also decided in a playoff, with team Orr’s Radek Faksa of the Kitchener Rangers earning a score of 26 in the third round of a playoff versus Team Cherry’s Tim Bozon of the Kamloops Blazers. Bozon dazzled with his first attempt of the event, scooping up the puck on his stick and waving it in the air before putting the shot just wide. Faksa scored on two of his three shots in the playoff round to seal the point for Team Orr. Team Orr also earned a point with a 22.3 for their average team score, giving them a commanding 7-2 lead over Team Cherry heading into the 3-on-3 game.
“I had a plan for my first shootout, but the puck wouldn’t stand on my stick and it was a bit embarrassing,” said Faksa. “At the end, I just wanted to score, nothing fancy, so it worked good.
“(Tim) Bozon’s first shot was pretty amazing,” he added.
Team Cherry will look for revenge versus Team Orr in the 2012 Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday night at Prospera Place (7:00pm PT; Sportsnet).
Follow all the action at the 2012 Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game at www.homehardwaretopprospectsgame.com
2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Skills Competition Results:
Skill 1 – Fastest Skater
Lukas Sutter (Saskatoon Blades) – 15.032
Branden Troock (Seattle Thunderbirds) – 14.256
Francis Beauvillier (Rimouski Oceanic) – 14.132 (One Goal)
Tomas Hyka (Gatineau Olympiques) – 14.674
Team Orr Average Time 14.524 (One Goal)
Brett Kulak (Vancouver Giants) – 14.785
Damon Severson (Kelowna Rockets) – 14.542
Mike Winther (Prince Albert Raiders) – 19.518
Gemel Smith (Owen Sound Attack) – 14.907
Team Cherry Average Time 15.938
Skill 2 – Hardest Shot
Matthew Finn (Guelph Storm) – 90.1mph
Chandler Stephenson (Regina Pats) – 94.1mph
Adam Pelech (Erie Otters) – 91.0mph
Dalton Thrower (Saskatoon Blades) – 92.4mph
Team Orr Average: 91.9mph (One Goal)
Ryan Murray (Everett Silvertips) – 94.3mph
Nick Ebert (Windsor Spitfires) – 94.7mph (One Goal)
Coda Gordon (Swift Current Broncos) – 84.2mph
Mathew Dumba (Red Deer Rebels) – 91.8mph
Team Cherry Average: 91.3mph
Skill 3 – Shooting Accuracy
Mikhail Grigorenko (Quebec Remparts) – 3 / 8
Derrick Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks) – 2 / 8
Gianluca Curcuruto (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – 4 / 5; Playoff 1 / 1 (One Goal)
Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oil Kings) – 4 / 7
Team Orr Total Targets 13 / 28 (Tie: One Goal)
Dillon Fournier (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) – 4 / 8
Tom Wilson (Plymouth Whalers) – 4 / 6
Scott Laughton (Oshawa Generals) – 4 / 5; Playoff 0 / 1
Andrew Ryan (Halifax Mooseheads) – 1 / 8
Team Cherry Total Target 13 / 28 (Tie: One Goal)
Skill 4 – Show-Down Breakaway Contest
Scott Kosmachuk (Guelph Storm) - 20
Tanner Pearson (Barrie Colts) - 26
Andreas Athanasiou (London Knights) - 15
Radek Faksa (Kitchener Rangers) – 25; Final Round Tiebreaker 26 (One Goal)
Colton Sissons (Kelowna Rockets) - 24
Raphael Bussieres (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) – 24
Team Orr Average Score 22.3 (One Goal)
Tim Bozon (Kamloops Blazers) – 27; Final Round Tie-breaker 21
Martin Frk (Halifax Mooseheads) - 19
Daniil Zharkov (Belleville Bulls) - 21
Brendan Gaunce (Belleville Bulls) - 16
Dane Fox (Erie Otters) - 19
Dominik Volek (Regina Pats) – 21
Team Cherry Average Score 20.9
The 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is supported by title sponsor Home Hardware for the 13th straight year with associate sponsors Bank of Montreal, Subway, and CCM.
Source: Jesse Watts/WHL