By Shawn Coates (@shawncoates)
WINNIPEG — Fans were the true winners of the 2014 Winnipeg Jets Skills Competition, as 12,045 people watched their hockey heroes take part in a series of fun events at MTS Centre Wednesday night.
The third annual event showcased various skills of the Jets players, who were divided into two squads — Team White and Team Blue. The players participated in five events: fastest skater, accuracy shooting, puck control relay, hardest shot and breakaway competition.
Team White featured Julien Brouiliette, Ben Chiarot, Michael Frolik, TJ Galiardi, Adam Lowry, Ondrej Pavelec, Anthony Peluso, Mark Scheifele, Jim Slater and Blake Wheeler.
Team Blue boasted Dustin Byfuglien, Grant Clitsome, Matt Halischuk, Michael Hutchinson, Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Adam Pardy, Mathieu Perrault, Paul Postma and Chris Thorburn.
Team Blue won the event 26-19. Postma was the fastest skater, completing a full lap in 13.90 seconds. Ladd took the shooting accuracy contest, hitting four targets in five shots in a time of 10.0 seconds. Chiarot recorded the hardest shot with a 103.0-mph blast.
Fan Janessa Glays came to see her favorite player Mark Scheifele. She enjoyed the event.
“It’s pretty good. I’ve had a lot of fun,” Glays said. “This is different than a game because fans can interact with the players. You get to see all the players up close.”
Proceeds from the competition will benefit the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation and the NHLPA Goals and Dreams Fund.
The Jets return to action Friday night with a home game against the Boston Bruins. The first faceoff goes at 7 p.m.
View the photo gallery below.