Mr. Big Shot!

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

They went out to provide thrills with their skills and in the process raise money for local charities.

Yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers took the ice at Rexall Place to display their talents at the team's annual Superskills competition with Team Blue beating Team White 19-14.

An estimated crowd of over 10,000 showed up to watch the players take part in a number of competitions showcasing their individual abilities. Sharing the ice with the Oilers were the Whitemud West Junior Oilers peewee team.

"It's a fun, relaxing event," said Oilers captain Jason Smith. "It's great for the fans to see the guys in a different light.

"It's different than when you come and play a game. You see the guys relaxed and smiling and heckling each other out there. It's not so serious and it's great to see how hard someone can shoot the puck and things like that."

For the record, defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron is the fastest Oiler - or at least can claim to be for the next year.

Bergeron won the fastest skater event, doing his lap in 14.405 seconds, edging out Jani Rita and his 14.477 in the process.

Bergeron was actually favoured to win the hardest shot event, but Chris Pronger stole his thunder with a blast of 102.8 miles per hour. Pronger also unloaded a shot at 100.7 mph. Bergeron's best was third fastest at 100.3 m.p.h.

"Since he's gotten those new sticks, his shot is unbelievable," said Bergeron of Pronger. "He puts that weight on the stick and it does the job."

It was the first time Pronger broke the century mark in a skills competition. Two years ago in St. Louis he registered a shot at 99 m.p.h.

"Technology - Berg is just upset," joked Pronger. "But he's been using the new technology as well.

"This is fun. The fans get to see us in a different environment, a little more relaxed atmosphere. You try to have fun and put on a good show."

In perhaps the most ironic result, Ales Hemsky proved to be the team's most accurate shooter. Hemsky, who's been known to pass up a good shooting opportunity in order to attempt the perfect feed, needed six shots to hit the four targets. Fernando Pisani and Todd Harvey both hit all four targets with seven shots.

The competition also featured a puck-control relay, a breakaway relay and a new power-play event - essentially a three-on-one for a minute.

"I don't think that one is going to last very long," said Pronger.


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