Sunday, September 13, 2015 - Submitted by Carol Chapman
Perth Thunder’s Rob Haselhurst has taken out the Air Canada Faster Skater Competition in the first event of the inaugural AIHL All-Stars Weekend at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium.
“I’m pretty happy I won honestly, I didn’t think I’d have the leg stride going into the long bits,” said Haselhurst.
A puffed but chuffed Haselhurst couldn’t keep the smile off his face after performing the best time of five heats, sliding across the finish line on his knees to beat the North Star’s Matt Wetini to claim the competition with a time of 12.87 seconds.
Haselhurst was not the only skater to put his body on the line with Melbourne Ice’s Tommy Powell defeating fellow Ice star Mitchell Humphries with a full body dive across the finish line.
Haselhurst’s win left Team Bales and Team Schlamp on even points at the end of the first competition with Team Bales winning two heats and Team Schlamp winning three.
The atmosphere is fun and friendly with a vocal crowd giving the players plenty of encouragement.
While Haselhurst admitted it feels ‘weird’ to sit in the sheds with guys you’ve hip-checked all season he’s very happy to participate.
“It’s great.” said Haselhurst, “It’s working well.”
Results Heat 1: Kieren Webster (Team Bales) defeated Daniel Pataky (Team Schlamp) Heat 2: Tommy Powell (Team Schlamp) defeated Mitch Humphries (Team Bales) Heat 3: Rob Haselhurst (Team Bales) defeated Matt Wetini (Team Schlamp) Heat 4: Matt Armstrong (Team Schlamp) defeated Brian Bales (Team Bales) Heat 5: Tomas Landa (Team Schlamp) defeated John Kennedy (Team Bales) Final: Rob Haselhurst (Team Bales) defeated Matt Wetini (Team Schlamp)