NHL All-Star Skills Competition results in female recognition

SAN JOSE — On Saturday, January 26, the results for the NHL All Stars Skills Competition was revealed after being held by the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Centre for the first time since 1997.

Out of the six categories which include: Fastest Skater, Puck Control, Save Streak, Premier Passer, Hardest Shot and Accuracy Shooting, there were two female athletes and teammates that seemed to steal the show this year.

The first is Olympic hockey champion Coyne Schofield who made history as the first woman to compete in all-star skills competition by skating in the Fastest Skater category.

She raced around the rink in a time competitive with the top skaters in the men’s game in a barrier-breaking moment for women’s hockey as she finished just a second short of Connor McDavid, who won the competition for his third time.

Schofield was the first skater to take the ice and finisher her lap in 14.346 seconds, impressing the NHL’s biggest stars with her speed and beating Arizona forward Clayton Keller’s time of 14.526 seconds.

Last Friday she found out that she’d get the chance to compete when Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon pulled out with an injury. She had been previously invited to all-star weekend with other women’s players from the U.S. and Canadian teams but she then had the opportunity to perform on the big stage and she took full advantage.

The second is Brianna Decker, who was three seconds faster than the winner of the Premier Passer challenge according to social media fans.

The U.S. women’s hockey star showed everyone how it’s done in the passing challenge but since she was only “demonstrating” the event, her time — which unofficially clocked at three seconds faster than the best men’s time — did not count.

Initially, the fact that it was given to Draisaitl was not sitting well with some hockey fans who pointed out that Decker may be able to use the cash in a better way as the Oilers star holds a $9-million-per-year contract.

This brought out the hashtag #PayDecker.

Her time which was clocked by social media of one minute and six seconds as compared to the official winner Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl, clocking in at 1:09, and prompted one of the largest hockey apparel companies to step in following a social media campaign to recognize the American writing:

“Brianna, the CCM would like to congratulate you on your performance at last nights skills competition. 1:06, that’s pretty fast! We understand the importance of recognizing female hockey players and are pleased to give you the $25,000 that you deserve. You are an ambassador for growing the women’s game and we are so proud to have you on the CCM team. Sincerely, Your friends at CCM Hockey.”

In addition, it has been released that the NHL now has something planned for all the women that participated.

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