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Monarchs’ Miller leads East to Skills win

UTICA, N.Y. … Manchester Monarchs defenseman Colin Miller recorded the hardest shot in event history and helped the Eastern Conference to a 15-11 win over the Western Conference in the 2015 AHL All-Star Skills Competition at the historic Utica Memorial Auditorium on Sunday evening.

Event scorecard

Miller, a second-year pro and 2012 draft pick by the Los Angeles Kings, registered a blast of 105.5 miles an hour in the CCM Hardest Shot event, the hardest shot recorded in the 20-year history of the AHL Skills Competition. Oklahoma City’s Brad Hunt (101.2), San Antonio’s Alex Petrovic (100.8) and Rockford’s T.J. Brennan (100.4) all topped 100 mph as well. 

Miller also won the CCM Fastest Skater contest, finishing his lap in a time of 13.805 seconds, and Philipp Grubauer of the Hershey Bears stopped 16 shots on 19 attempts on the evening to earn the CCM Top Goaltender award. Grubauer and Eastern Conference teammates Jean-Francois Berube of the Manchester Monarchs and Connor Hellebuyck of the St. John’s IceCaps combined to turn aside 16 of 18 West tries in the Panasonic Breakaway Relay to preserve the win. 

Hartford Wolf Pack forward Chris Bourque was a co-winner of the Turning Stone Resort Casino Accuracy Shooting title – an event that his father Ray won eight times in the National Hockey League – by breaking four targets in six attempts. Bourque shared the top performance with Western Conference captain Maxime Fortunus of the Texas Stars. 

The teams split the Sher-Wood Puck Control Relay event, with Cal O’Reilly of the hometown Utica Comets winning the final individual heat. 

The 2015 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino continues on Monday with the AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony at 11 a.m., featuring the induction of Frederic Cassivi, James C. Hendy, Bronco Horvath and Art Stratton as the AHL Hall of Fame Class of 2015 and also celebrating honorary All-Star Classic captains Bill Guerin and Eric Weinrich. 

The league’s mid-season showcase wraps up Monday night with the 2015 AHL All-Star Game at 7 p.m. ET. Checktheahl.com for air times and channels along the AHL All-Star Classic television network