Rocket man

TY PILSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

Still seething from his team's 10-9 loss to the Edmonton Rush last night at Rexall Place, Rochester Knighthawks star John Grant Jr. took his frustration out on an empty net.

Grant - who scored three goals in the defeat - won the hardest shot contest during the post-game NLL All-Star skills competition with a blast of 104 mph.

The Peterborough, Ont. native also won the trick-shot contest but both titles came as little solace following the defeat.

"I wanted to go home after that loss," said Grant, who will be one of the players to watch on the East Division team in today's all-star tilt. "It's still pretty salty. But, we're trying to give the fans an appreciation for the game and give them a good show."

On the flip side, Rush forward Mike Accursi won the accuracy contest, beating good friend and NLL all-time leading scorer John Tavares in the final.

For him, the win was gravy.

"The victory tonight made my whole weekend," said Accursi, still sporting a broad grin. "The rest is just fun for me now."

GLAMOUR EVENT

The glamour event of the night - as with the NHL skills competition - was the fastest shot, which was the final individual event.

Grant's blast of 104 was nine mph faster than young Philadelphia Wings star and league goal-scoring leader Athan Iannucci.

Edmonton Rush forward Jimmy Quinlan had a shot clocked at 90 mph during the preliminary round.

Grant took a unique approach to the trick shot, asking for the Zamboni doors to be opened before running past City TV personality Rob Hislop, who donned the pads and stepped between the pipes.

After waiting a few minutes for Grant to re-emerge, Hislop left his net to go looking for him.

At that moment, Grant popped up in section 122 and tossed the ball into the yawning cage. He followed that up with hidden ball play in the final round.

"When I was hanging around the building this morning, one of our balls went in the stands and I went to get it and I decided to throw it in and it went in from that area," said Grant. "So, I figured I might as well try it.

"I couldn't score on the floor in the game," he added, obviously still frustrated with the loss, "so I figured I had a better chance in the stands."

Buffalo's Mark Steenhuis - known for his crazy hair that's led to the nickname Sideshow Bob and his bright orange shoes - won the agility contest, which was essentially a fancy way to see who the fastest player was.

SECOND IN SCORING

Currently second in NLL points this season, Steenhuis is considered one of the quickest players in the league.

"It's not an event you want to come in totally cold and start running but I got warmed up the first couple times and got it," said Steenhuis.

Colorado netminder Gee Nash won the goalie longshot contest, which tested the accuracy of the 'tenders with long bombs the length of the floor at an open net.

San Jose players won the 3-on-3 tournament.


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