- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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Stars forward Jamie Benn had an impressive showing at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, taking the shooting accuracy competition and putting on another impressive shooting display in the skills challenge relay.
In the first round of the accuracy competition he hit four of six targets in 13.583 seconds to advance to the finals against Philadelphia rookie Matt Read. Benn then hit four of five targets in in 10.204 seconds in the finals to win the competition to top Read, who hit his four targets in 16.361 seconds.
“It’s a lot harder than it looks,” Benn said on NBC Sports Network’s telecast of the All-Star Skills Competition. “Once you get one you can get on a roll and run with it.”
After the competition he said it was a lot of practice shooting pucks as a kid that paid dividends.
“Shooting all the time growing up and practicing in the garage really paid off,” Benn said.
In the skills challenge relay, Benn had the hardest angle one-timer but he hit three of three shots for Team Chara.
“That sharp angle, I was a little nervous about that one, getting them in,” Benn said.
He was eliminated in the first round of the elimination shootout when Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick made a pad save on his wrist shot.
The highlight of the night was Boston’s Zdeno Chara breaking his own record in the hardest shot competition. Chara shattered his previous record of 105.9 MPH by hitting 108.8 MPH on Saturday night.
Another highlight was Chicago’s Patrick Kane taking the breakaway challenge by donning a Superman cape, Clark Kent glasses and then scoring a goal while gliding towards the net on his stomach.
Team Alfredsson won the skills competition over Team Chara by a score of 21-12.
For Benn, it was a good experience.
“I think it went really well. It was a lot of fun out there,” he said. “It was pretty cool to see the skill that these guys have and it was great for the first time.”
Here were the winners in Saturday’s night’s All-Star Skills Competition.
Faster skater: Carl Hagelin, NY Rangers
Breakaway challenge: Patrick Kane, Chicago
Accuracy shooting: Jamie Benn, Dallas
Hardest shot: Zdeno Chara, Boston
Elimination shootout: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay
Full results are here.
Video of Benn in final round