New York Rangers prospects Bobby Sanguinetti and Artem Anisimov participated in the 2009 AHL All-Star Skills Competition in Worcester, MA on Sunday afternoon, and both players acquitted themselves well as their PlanetUSA team defeated the Canadian squad by an 18-12 margin.
Sanguinetti, who’s at the All Star Classic despite losing four teeth and suffering a nasty facial cut after getting hit in the face with a puck on Friday night, participated in the Reebok Hardest Shot Competition. Sanguinetti’s first shot registered at 93.2 mph, which was second amongst his PlanetUSA teammates, and fifth over-all. Nashville Predators prospect Derek Joslin won the competition for the Canadian side with a 98.6 mph shot on his first attempt. [UPDATE: Those last two sentences were updated Monday afternoon because I apparently read the scorecard upside-down. Ok, not really upside-down, but I misread it, and had Sanguinetti with the top shot for PlanetUSA, rather than the second best, and missed Joslin's number completely. All fixed now. Whew.]
Anisimov, who was named to the PlanetUSA roster as a last-minute substitute on Friday, participated in two events. First up was the Enterprise Cleaning Corporation Rapid Fire competition, which pitted two shooters against one of each of the six goalies, with each shooter alternating taking five shots in rapid succession. The team with the most total saves at the end of the event earned a point in the over-all competition. Anisimov scored on three of his five shots against Rochester’s Mike Brodeur, and rang a fourth off the post. Only fourth-time AHL All-Star Keith Aucoin matched Anisimov’s 3-for-5 pace. PlanetUSA won the competition with 23 saves to the Canadian side’s 19.
Next up for the second youngest participant at this year’s event was the EA Sports NHL 09 Breakaway Relay, which put teams of six shooters up against the opposing squad’s goaltenders, with each goal scored earning the player’s team a point in the overall standings. Anisimov was one of only two of PlanetUSA’s 18 shooters who scored, doing so with what’s become a signature deke to his backhand. The Canadian side won the event 5-2.
The 2009 AHL All-Star Game takes place on Monday night at 7pm. Folks in the New York area can watch the Skills Competition prior to the game on MSG+ starting at 5pm. Those without MSG+ can check the broadcast schedule for other viewing options.
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