Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Kendall Coyne becomes first woman to compete in NHL Skills competition

#PayDecker: Fans demand women's hockey star get paid after NHL skills comp Palos Heights native Kendall Coyne Schofield makes hockey history
Jennie Wade | 30 January, 2019, 02:27

That four-team tournament was chock full of Olympians; they displayed incredible skill. She didn't officially compete, but if she had, she would have placed respectably among her peers. Every player rose, instantly compelled to their feet by Coyne's performance and eager to congratulate her for it, because of course, Coyne didn't just earn notoriety by being the first woman to participate at Superskills, she did it by making it indubitably clear that she belonged in the competition of the NHL's fastest skaters.

A woman competed in the NHL All-Star Skills competition for the first time ever on Friday.

When asked to participate, Coyne couldn't wait to jump at the chance. Decker completed the passing drill with an unofficial time that was reported to be 1:06, which - if official - would have been tops among all competitors.

With a time of 1:09.088, the National Hockey League officially recognized the Oilers' Leon Draisaitl as the victor of the eight-player event.

Coyne Schofield plays for the Minnesota Whitecaps of the National Women's Hockey League, and has scored five goals in 11 games this season. "I thought she might have won the way she was moving". Her time would have put her in fourth.

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"I was so excited for her", he said, "for how she performed on such a big stage".

Coyne Schofield's husband was rooting hard for her Friday from home, just like he was in the stands in PyeongChang at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The deniers made themselves heard as well.

"When she took off, I was like "Wow", McDavid said. There weren't many negative responses when USA Hockey tweeted a video of her skate.

Earlier in the day, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league was committed to supporting the women's game.

The other winners in the NHL All-Star skills competition Friday night were Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau in the puck control contest, the New York Rangers Henrik Lundqvist in the save streak competition, Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl in the premier passer contest, Washington's John Carlson in the hardest shot, and Boston's David Pastrnak for accurate shooting. But this was a good step in that direction.

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