John Moore said that the practice - and extra work - was worth it.
Moore assaulted his family garage with thousands of slap shots while growing up and on Tuesday, he put up the hardest shot in the OHL Skills Competition and Three-on-Three Game on Tuesday, helping the Western Conference to an 18-15 win over the Eastern Conference.
Moore said that he caused so much damage to his garage as a youngster that his parents made him paint it several times.
“My garage at home could probably tell the story,” said Moore, who blasted a pair of 98 mile per hour missiles and edged Jacob Muzzin of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Zack Torquato of the Erie Otters, who both reached 96 miles per hour.
“I was always shooting pucks when I was growing up and I still like to do it. I’ve had to repaint it a couple of times already.”
Moore also practiced his shot this past summer and said that a friend’s father that is a police officer brought out his radar gun one day and clocked Moore’s blast at 98 miles per hour.
“Hopefully I can get it up to triple digits sometime,” Moore said. “No promises but it would be pretty cool.”
Jesse Blacker of the Owen Sound Attack won the fastest skater segment with a fast lap time of 15.05 seconds. He completed his lap 2/100ths of a second faster than Alex Hutchings of the Barrie Colts. Devante Smith-Pelly of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors won the shooting accuracy event when he knocked out three targets in eight shots and Ethan Werek of the Kingston Frontenacs won the relay race, edging Kingston native Taylor Hall of the Spitfires after the Western Conference won the four-man relay.
The teams tied the breakaway relay with four goals each and then Team West took the win with an 11-7 win in the three-on-three game.
Frontenacs’ goaltender Tyler Beskorowany said that he enjoyed playing in the event but that it was stressful - especially facing the offensively-talented Western Conference squad.
“You have to make a big save time after time,” Beskorowany said. “If you do, you look great but if you don’t it’s another one up on the board.”
Beskorowany said that the East is looking forward to rebounding in the game on Tuesday (7:00 p.m. Eastern on Rogers Sportsnet) and keeping the East’s four-game winning streak alive.
“Tomorrow is another day and hopefully we get a little bit more luck in the game,” Beskorowany said. “It was fun - I had a blast.”
Meanwhile, the Western Conference stars are determined to put an end to that streak and get their first all-star win since 2005.
“Getting all the best players out on the ice at the same time was a lot of fun,” Moore said. “Hopefully we can ruin the East’s streak and bring the win back to the West.”
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)