Sunday, September 13, 2015 - Submitted by Courtney Laura
The Melbourne Ice’s Matt Armstrong has hit a 96mph thunderbolt in the Skaters Network All-Star Hardest Shot competition at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium.
The Hardest Shot competition saw four players from each team step up, skating from the blue line taking a shot at the goal where the radar situated behind the net would track their speed.
With Stephen Blunden, John Kennedy, Shannon McGregor and Rob Haselhurst lining up for Team Bales and Brian Funes, Matt Armstrong, Robert Malloy and Michael Schlamp ready for Team Schlamp, the fans were in for a real treat.
With the lowest shot speed at 74mph an hour, we were witnessing a showcase of strength and balance as each player stepped up. It was Armstrong on his first of two shots that scored him a leading speed at 96mph an hour.
On his second shot, Armstrong came through with such big hit that the radar machine broke taking us to a brief intermission while they repaired it.
Coming back, Kennedy stepped up to his second shot and with a 90mph bolt came in a close second to Armstrong and went to the faceoff to fight for the title of holding the hardest shot.
With Armstrong scoring a strong 88mph, Kennedy could only muster an 81mph with his second shot, giving the title to Armstrong.
Reflecting on such a strong hit to get to 96mph Armstrong said “I would have to say it’s a natural talent.”
“Ever since I was young I was able to take slap shots and it has always been an asset of my game,” Amrstrong said. “I don’t have a radar so it was nice to check out the speed.”
At the end of the event, the score was locked at 11-all.