WORCESTER, Mass. – The PlanetUSA team won six of eight events to continue its recent mastery of the AHL All-Star Skills Competition, posting an 18-12 win over the Canadian squad Sunday afternoon.
Manitoba Moose goaltender Cory Schneider and Jared Ross of the Philadelphia Phantoms led the way for PlanetUSA, which has won the skills competition in five of the past six years.
Schneider, from nearby Marblehead, Mass., won top goaltender honours by stopping 18 of 19 shots, a new event record.
“It’s exciting,” said Schneider. “It’s a fun event for the fans, so you don’t get too nervous. You just go out, react to the puck, and have fun.”
Ross won the fastest skater competition, circling the rink in a time of 14.187 seconds.
“I didn’t really think about it,” Ross said of his preparation for the event. “When you think about it, that’s when you get in trouble. I was a little nervous about falling.
“The key is just watching those corners.”
Defenceman Derek Joslin of Richmond Hill, Ont., and the hometown Worcester Sharks scored points for Canada by winning the hardest shot contest.
Joslin hit 98.6 m.p.h. on the radar gun with the first of his two attempts.
“I just tried to skate hard to the puck,” said Joslin, “and make contact.”
Joslin fanned on his second shot and registered just 48.9 m.p.h.
Canada’s other win came in the breakaway relay, which it won 5-2.
The puck control relay was settled for PlanetUSA by Worcester’s Ryan Vesce, in a head to head race with Joslin, his Sharks teammate, whom he beat by a stride.
Other wins by PlanetUSA came in the rapid fire, pass and score, and accuracy shooting events.
Milwaukee Admirals forward Mike Santorelli of Vancouver became just the third shooter in the AHL accuracy event to hit all four targets with just four shots.
The AHL’s all-star game is Monday (TSN, 7 p.m. ET) at the DCU Center.