Team White Defeats Team Black

Intrasquad Skills ChallengeLake Erie Monsters

With a new season of Lake Erie Monsters hockey set to begin on Friday night, fans had a chance to get an early look at this season’s team at Monday night’s skills competition at OBM Arena in Strongsville. While “Team White” edged “Team Black” by a 5-3 score, those in attendance were put in the hockey mood as the Monsters participated in a variety of on-ice events. Local youth hockey players from Strongsville Squirts I were also involved in the skills competition.

Two very offensively gifted Monsters forwards- one returner and one new face- started the skills competition with a one-on-one puck control race. Weaving between cones were Mike Sgarbossa, who was an AHL all-star in his rookie season with the Monsters in ’12-13, and 20-year-old rookie Colin Smith. Smith, like Sgarbossa last year, is coming off a 100-point season in his final year of junior hockey. But it was Sgarbossa who edged Smith in a photo finish, putting Team White in an early lead. In the puck control relay, Team White also managed a win.

In the accuracy shooting event- in which a target was placed in all four corners of the net- two Monsters set the standard for efficiency. Needing just five shots to hit all four targets were two returning players: defenseman Stefan Elliott and forward Mark Olver, who secured another point for Team White with their performances in the event.

Returning goalies Sami Aittokallio and Calvin Pickard came into the mix during the rapid fire and breakaway relays. In the rapid fire, a pair of shooters to the right and left of the goalie would alternate shooting, forcing the goalies to slide from side-to-side to stop the puck. The breakaway event closed the show, as fans were exposed to a variety of stickhandling moves.

Stefan Elliott

 


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