- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 8, 2004

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The conference rivalry may be a bit tough to discern, but the Eastern Conference last night routed the West 13-6 in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, capturing wins in each of the major events.

Philadelphia center Jeremy Roenick, already one of the league’s most outspoken figures, stole the show with his Ray Bourque impersonation. Roenick dominated the accuracy competition, an event won annually by the now-retired Bourque during his playing days, by posting a perfect four targets hit in four shots.

Otherwise, younger and lesser-known players stood out. Montreal’s Sheldon Souray and Adrian Aucoin of the New York Islanders tied for the hardest slap shot with blasts measuring 102.2 mph. New Jersey defenseman Scott Niedermayer was the fastest skater, completing one lap of the ice in 13.78 seconds. Florida’s Roberto Luongo bested all goalies, allowing just one score in two separate shooting events.

The Skills Competition, essentially an attempt to replicate the popular Home Run Derby at baseball’s All-Star Game, in recent years has offered additional events like puck control and breakaway relays. But those more complex events failed to capture the crowd at Xcel Energy Center in the same manner as those involving brute force and speed.

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