ECHL All-Star Skills Competition Recap

Photo credit: Andrew Fielder for Inside The Rink

The ECHL’s stars had a chance to put their talents on display Monday evening in Savannah, Georgia. The league held its annual All-Star event in front of 6,795 fans at Enmarket Arena.

The event, hosted by the Savannah Ghost Pirates, saw the home team take on the ECHL All-Stars during the evening’s All-Star game. Fans were also treated to the league’s skills competition during the intermission breaks.

The skills competition consisted of three events: the fastest skater, the hardest shot, and the accuracy challenge. It was a clean sweep for the Ghost Pirates during the skills competition, as the host team’s players picked up the win in each of the contests.

Fastest Skater:

The first skills competition of the evening took place before the beginning of the second period. Six skaters participated In the event, including three Ghost Pirates players and three ECHL All-Stars. The skaters needed to complete a full lap around the 200-foot rink, returning to the centerline as quickly as possible.

Sebastian Vidmar turns the corner during his 12.95 fastest skater lap. Photo: Andrew Fielder for Inside The Rink

Savannah’s Sebastian Vidmar earned the first-place title. The Ghost Pirates forward blazed around the ice in just 12.95 seconds. Second place went to Kansas City Mavericks player Pat Curry, who posted a 13.07 lap time. In third place was the representative from the Reading Royals, Matt Brown. The Royals winger finished his lap in 13.31. Fourth place went to Jacksonville Icemen forward Brendan Harris, registering a time of 13.38. Savannah’s Joe Fleming and Ross Armour rounded out the event, with Fleming posting a time of 13.46 and Armour posting a 13.52 time.

Hardest Shot:

The hardest shot competition saw players fire their biggest slapshot at the goal while the shot speed was clocked by a radar. Six players also participated in the event, with four of the six skaters posting a shot speed of over 90 miles per hour.

Brandon Hawkins of the Toledo Walleye, Gabriel Chicoine from the Maine Mariners, and Fort Wayne Komets forward Jack Dugan were the ECHL All-Star team participants. The Ghost Pirates were represented by defensemen Carter Long and Nolan Valleau and forward Simon Pinard. 

An ECHL All-Star loads up a booming shot in the hardest shot competition. Photo: Andrew Fielder for Inside The Rink

Savannah’s Carter Long won the event with a booming shot of 95 miles per hour. Second place also went to the Ghost Pirates, with defenseman Carter Long registering a 93mph shot. In third place was Brandon Hawkins. The Walleye forward’s hardest shot clocked in at 92mph. Savannah’s Pinard registered a shot of 91mph during the event. Maine’s Chicoine posted an 89mph blast, and Jack Dugan of Fort Wayne fired off an 83mph shot.

Accuracy Shooting:

The accuracy shooting challenge was the final skills competition event of the evening, seeing players shoot at four targets placed in each corner of the goal. The player who knocked down all four targets with the fastest time was declared the winner. 

Four players took part in the accuracy challenge. The Ghost Pirates were represented by forwards Brent Pedersen and Anthony Collins, while the ECHL All-Stars were represented by the Indy Fuel’s Cameron Hillis and Kansas City’s Max Andreev.

Savannah’s Anthony Collins rifles a puck on target during the accuracy shooting challenge. Photo: Andrew Fielder for Inside The Rink

Impressively, forward Brent Pedersen of the Savannah Ghost Pirates knocked down all four targets in 3.7 seconds. The second fastest to do it was Savannah forward Anthony Collins, hitting all four corner shots in seven seconds. Third place went to Indy’s Cameron Hillis, with a time of 8.4 seconds, followed by Kansas City Mavericks forward Max Andreev knocking off the four targets in 22.3 seconds.

Mad Skills:

Not only did the home team’s superstars put on a show, they did so with some impressive numbers. Sebastian Vidmar’s 12.95 time is faster than times posted in the NHL’s All-Stars skill competition. The 200-foot sprint was a half second faster than times posted by the likes of NHL stars Connor McDavid and Dylan Larkin.

Brent Pedersen’s quick hands in the accuracy challenge out-paced the quickest time ever set in the NHL, cutting the 7.3 seconds it took Daniel Sedin in 2011 to hit all four targets in half. It was quite the display of talent from the Ghost Pirates, even if the main event, the All-Star game itself, didn’t go the way the home team would have liked.

Teams across the league are enjoying a mini all-star break before returning to action on Friday, January 19th.

Click here to see the ECHL All-Star Skills Competition gallery by ITR Photographer Andrew Fielder

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis is a freelance hockey reporter covering the ECHL's Jacksonville Icemen for Inside The Rink and the Vancouver Canucks for The Canuck Way. His work has been featured on Hockey of Tomorrow and The Daily Faceoff, and can be found on Twitter/X @FromTheDrewLine.

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