|Bales leads the way in All-Star Breakaway Challenge
Team captain Brian Bales has lead from the front, winning the APA Group Breakaway Challenge at the inaugural AIHL All-Star Weekend at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium.
The breakaway challenged saw three shooters and one goalie from each team take to the ice. Each skater was given 3 shots, with full access to the offensive zone, to play out their routine and take a shot.
With Brian Bales, Stephen Blunden, Andrew Cox and Kamil Jarina taking to the ice for Team Bales, and Brian Funes, Michael Schlamp, James Byers and Dayne Davis for Team Schlamp, fans saw an array of tricks and talent from these players.
Opening with team captain Brian Bales, he showed that this would be more than just your average breakaway showcase.
Taking a knee as he skated towards usual teammate Davis, his balance and concentration was highlighted.
Cox tried to surprise Davis with a decoy puck hidden up his glove, but nothing got past the North Stars keeper.
With Michael Schlamp taking the next one, he skated out and stopped, where he then went to the Bales bench to take the pocket rocket Haselhurst under his wing and take a shot together, in what would reminded me of a father who was teaching his son.
With players attempting different forms of dekeing, the goalies saw more dramatics with Byers juggling the puck off his stick and aiming to kick it in. Although backhand and wrist shot flicks couldn’t find their target, the crowd didn’t care, loving the imagination of the players.
After an appearance from the Minion Stuart, Brian Bales was announced as the winner, rewarded with a $1000 cheque for his victory.
“My first big cheque so I was pretty happy about that,” Bales said. “I have been working on that move with the gloves and the stick since I was about 15 so I might have a trademark on that,” Bales continued with a beaming smile.
Asked how he would use this new money Bales was coy.
“I can’t disclose how I will spend the money,” he laughed. “I think I’ll share it amongst the boys with some social bonding moments later. I think that would be a good use of the money.”
“It’s sort of funny a bunch of guys getting in the room together at first everyone is timid and quiet, but then two hours later everyone are best friends. It’s amazing what getting together for a few drinks and playing hockey can do.”
The win also gave Team Bales the lead with a 4-3 edge over Team Schlamp in the skills competition.