Olympic hockey player Kendall Coyne Schofield beats some NHL All-Stars in fastest skater competition

Jan 26 2019, 2:42 am

Moving the Skills Competition forward a day from its usual Saturday night time slot, the opening night of 2019 NHL All-Star Weekend had its fair share of memorable moments.

While many fans tend to skip the festivities altogether, the ones who did tune in were treated to high skill on display right from the start.

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Team USA women’s hockey star and Olympic gold medallist Kendall Coyne Schofield filled in for the injured Nathan MacKinnon in the fastest skater competition, getting the show going with a blazing lap that impressed fans and commentators alike.

The first-ever female athlete to compete in the Skills Competition in NHL All-Star history, Coyne Schofield came in at a time of 14.346 seconds. Not only was that a respectable time, it edged out Arizona’s Clayton Keller, who finished his effort at 14.526. It was also better than Dallas Stars defenceman Miro Heiskanen’s first attempt, when he fell.

Heiskanen was allowed a re-skate, though that hardly seems fair.

“It’s an honour to compete here, honour to compete alongside the men. It’s just all for the growth of women’s hockey,” said Coyne Schofield in an interview with Scott Oake on Hockey Night in Canada.

Here’s who won all the events:

Fastest skater

Winner: Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)

Would you have guessed anything less from Connor McDavid? Four seasons in the NHL, three All-Star appearances, fastest skater every time he’s done it from the two-time Art Ross winner.

To top it off, Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty made an appearance, and picked up the pace better than many NHL fourth-liners could.

Where does a mascot learn to skate like that?

Puck control

Winner: Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames)

MVP candidate Johnny Gaudreau wasn’t to be outdone from his cross-province rival, showcasing his talents in the NHL’s version of a stickhandling obstacle course.

Gaudreau’s time was 27.045 seconds, which wrapped up his second consecutive victory in the event.

It didn’t go as well for Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson though.

Save streak

Winner: Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers)

While the event is designed to highlight the goaltenders who compete to stop the most consecutive shootout attempts, it’s a fun way to see the players’ creativity on display.

It was this goal from Buffalo’s Jeff Skinner that ended Henrik Lundqvist’s streak at 12.

Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot showed off his hands that have him in contention for the Norris Trophy.

Pettersson had an easier time in this event, scoring a pair of goals, first showing off his dekes, then his quick release.

Atlantic Division captain and Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews showed off his backhand skills.

Premier passer

Winner: Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers)

Picking up the third trophy for an Albertan team was Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl, who completed the passing event in the time of 1:09.088.

However, it was once again a case where the NHL players were shown up. USA women’s national team star Brianna Decker completed the event in a time of 1:06, which would’ve won the competition. But it was just used as a demo, and for no real good reason, not eligible to win the event.

Hardest shot

Winner: John Carlson (Washington Capitals)

It was a second straight year where a Washington Capitals player won the hardest shot event, as John Carlson won with a 102.8 mph blast. Alexander Ovechkin won this event last year.

Shooting accuracy

Winner: David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins)

David Pastrnak made things look easy, putting up a time of 11.309 to win the shooting accuracy event. The NHL kept its light-up target format, but added competing players’ faces on top to add to the fun.

In an attempt to woo the home crowd in San Jose, Matthews pulled off his own jersey to reveal a custom Patrick Marleau sweater.

It worked:

The former Sharks captain left for Toronto in the summer of 2017, after spending his entire pro career in San Jose since being drafted in 1997.