According to an article by Caela McLoughlin on the Devils official website, there was a pretty big competition going on at the Prudential Center last week.
On November 19, the Devils hosted the third annual Youth Hockey Shootout at the arena with 66 of the area’s youth hockey players facing off in shootout-style tournament. As McLoughlin stated, “(o)f the 66 players, there were 33 pairs, a goalie and a skater, representing 33 different local youth hockey associations and rinks from New Jersey.” She said that the tournament was run by former Devils Bruce Driver, Bryce Salvador and Colin White (and mascot NJ Devil) and emceed by PA Announcer Kevin Clark.
The shootout would continue until it got to a final round of two pairs. The two final pairs would then face each other during the November 21 Devils game against the Montreal Canadiens. The winners would then represent New Jersey at the NHL All-Star Shootout Challenge in San Jose against winners of similar shootouts in other NHL cities.
McLoughlin described the event as “a three-round, single elimination bracket-style shootout.” She said that “if there was a tie after the three rounds, the competition would enter sudden death.” She then mentioned that the longest heat in the shootout was between the Union Thunder and New Jersey Rockets, which she said went nine rounds.
The four winners who emerged from this round and moved on to the finals during the Devils-Canadiens game were Jacob Sokol and Bryan Schwarts from the New Jersey Stars and Matthew Zocks and Andrew Downey from Devils Youth.
The final took place during the first intermission of the game between the Devils and Montreal and goalie Zocks and shooter Downey came out victorious. They will now head to the NHL All-Star Game in San Jose in January to try to bring glory to the Devils and New Jersey youth hockey.
McLoughlin said that they were congratulated at center ice by Driver, White “and Dr. John Feldman of RWJBarnabas Health” to “wish them good luck in California.”
After competing in their own sort-of all-star skills competion, the kids from the Devils Youth will now compete against the best from all over North America at the 2019 NHL All-Star Game. Congrats to all of the participants and good luck to Matthew and Andrew in San Jose!
To read more about this event please visit the official Devils website here.