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NHL All-Star Game: Women players steal the show at skills competition

29 January 2019

USA women's hockey star Brianna Decker showed everyone how it's done in the passing challenge at Friday night's NHL all-star skills competition in San Jose. So he had to pull out.

However, Coyne Schofield was the only one to participate in an official capacity, replacing Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon in the fastest skater event. She's a forward for the USA women's national team, which took the gold medal at last year's Olympics. The day this isn't seen as an insult, as Pierre McGuire loosely implied when he said he was sure no one wanted to lose to her, can't come soon enough. And so she did. That meant that even though Decker beat Draisaitl's time by three seconds, she was going home empty-handed by virtue of just demonstrating how to perform the event.

The NHL's annual skills competition took place in San Jose on Friday night, but not everybody got to see the most fantastic performances of the evening.

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I first saw Coyne Schofield play as a freshman at Northeastern in the Beanpot (a college hockey tournament in Boston). "I knew it was a moment that could break a lot of barriers and a moment that would change the perception of our game and show support to our game".

On Friday, I saw a woman demonstrate that she can compete with the best in the world. She responded on Twitter, quickly making history as the first woman to compete in the event. "It was really cool".

For the first time ever, a woman will compete in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition. Lundqvist threw his arms up in celebration after stopping John Tavares for his ninth save in a row, topping Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy for the top spot.

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Carlson beat out local fan favourite Brent Burns for the hardest shot, recording the fastest two times at 102.8 miles per hour and 100.8 miles per hour. For reference, that time would've beaten Josh Bailey, Noah Hanifin and Zach Werenski in last year's competition, which Brayden Point won with a time of 13.579 seconds.

The two-time Olympian finished the competition in 1:06. "All the chants made me so nervous, I forgot there were five targets".

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NHL All-Star Game: Women players steal the show at skills competition