By Amy Johnson, Ice Caps Hockey Report
SYRACUSE, NY — The best of the best gathered at Syracuse’s War Memorial Arena on Sunday night to kick off the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic with the Skills Competition. Fifty-two of the league’s top forwards, defencemen, and goaltenders gatheredto show off their talents in a night of playful competition.
Michael McCarron and Morgan Ellis were chosen as the two North Division representatives from the St. John’s IceCaps. We spoke with them before the event began to get a sense of their excitement level for the weekend. You can watch the video of those interviews below.
We also chatted with former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Peter Budaj before the competition began. Budaj now plays for the Ontario Reign and is having a terrific season. You can listen to the audio from his interview, as well as audio from post-event interviews with McCarron and Ellis below as well.
Pre-event interview with Peter Budaj
Post-event interview with Morgan Ellis
Post-event interview with Michael McCarron
After watching the Puck Control Relay and Fastest Skater events from the sidelines, the Rapid Fire contest brought McCarron to the ice. He impressed the crowd by potting four of his five quick-shot attempts.
Next it was Ellis’ turn in the Hardest Shot event. He fired a laser at 100.0 mph to take the third hardest shot position overall, and one of only two players to get into triple digits.
Pass and Score teamed three skaters against a goalie. McCarron, Mike Sislo, and William Nylander peppered Budaj, but couldn’t get a puck past him.
Finally, both IceCaps players took part in the Breakaway Relay. McCarron faced Budaj once again and Ellis took on Laurent Brossoit. At the end of the night the Western Conference came out on top, but every participant seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Fans lined the boards afterwards for photos and autographs with their favorite players, who now look forward to the AHL All-Star Game Monday night.