Nurse's goal electrifies crowd during NHL skills challenge

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The cheers at FLA Live Arena were the loudest when Sarah Nurse of Canada’s women’s team scored during the NHL All-Star skills competition Friday night.

Nurse used a breakaway move made popular by Swedish player Peter Forsberg to fool New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin in a goaltender shooting event, electrifying the crowd.

“One of my friends back home told me to try it,” Nurse said, “so I gave it a shot.”

Nurse was joined by fellow Canadian team members Emily Clark and Rebecca Johnston and American players Hilary Knight and Alex Carpenter as female hockey players returned to the ice to participate in several events during skills night.

“The best part of being a part of All-Star weekend is the kind of visibility it gives our sport,” Clark said. “We’re having a lot of fun, but we’re super glad we’re able to represent women’s hockey and to be on the same ice as some of the best men in the world.”

Nurse, who is an Olympic gold medalist, wore custom skates highlighting Black History month and the Black Girl Hockey Club, a nonprofit focused on getting more Black girls and women into the sport.

The players have been involved in the skills competition since 2019, when Americans Kendall Coyne Schofield and Brianna Decker, in addition to Johnston and Canada’s Renata Fast, made appearances.

Coyne Schofield became the first woman to compete in the NHL All-Star skills competition, racing around the rink in 14.346 seconds in the fastest skater competition in a barrier-breaking moment for women’s hockey.

Friday night, players took shots in a new event the NHL called the “Tendy Tandem," which involved one goaltender from each of the four divisions as the shooting goalie and the other goalie from that division as the in-net goalie.

The tandem of Nashville Predators goalie Juuse Saros and Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets won the challenge for the Central Division.


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Alanis Thames, The Associated Press