With forward Jason Zucker, who is a rookie this season with the Houston Aeros, setting a new record in the skills competition for the fastest skater with a time of 13:550, Summers, the very next skater, answered back with a time of 13.324 to set a new AHL record to win the event.
The previous record, prior to Sunday was held by defenseman former Hartford Wolf Pack forward Bobby Sangiunetti which he set during the AHL All-Star Skill Competition held at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine in 2010.
Summers, who has appeared in 39 games for the Pirates this season, scoring 10 points (2g, 8a), was named the Eastern Conference All-Star roster on Friday, replacing Pirates’ defenseman David Rundblad, who is currently on recall with the Phoenix Coyotes in the NHL.
“They asked me to compete in the fastest skater, and if it was something I wanted to do,” said Summers, who is in his second year with the Pirates. “It was actually the first time I ever done it so it was a good stage to do it in.”
“(Zucker) broke the record so I thought it was pretty tough to do,” Summers said. “I was giving him some crap,” but I think we both had fun time doing it.”
Zucker, who has 17 goals, 19 assists for 36 points in 39 games with the Aeros, tipped his hat to Summers.
“For 30 seconds I had it, but Summers obviously took it away pretty quickly,” Zucker joked.
Summers, not known as particularly fast skater, kept his strategy simple for the event by simply putting his head down, and throw caution to the wind. It paid off despite the fact that four of the six skaters that took part had times under 14 seconds.
“Maybe lighter equipment, maybe,” Summers said for the reason why times were down. “It was a good showing from everyone… I have been working on puck handling and the shooting all year. I think skating is something that can always be improved on.”
The match up in the skill competition is East vs. West, the competition went deeper as both competitors are alumni of the US National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan and although neither player had actual met in person until Sunday, there were bragging rights on the line.
“I think a little bit,” Summers stated on a rivalry between NTDP players. “Obviously, he was at the US program a little bit after I was, and he’s also an American guy. I think it was a bit of a friendly rivalry.”
Summers also took part in the breakaway skills competition and failed to score. Overall, the Western AHL All-Stars defeated the Eastern All-Stars, 12-11, in a come-from-behind victory to win the overall skills competition event.
The AHL All-Star Classic continues Monday night with the All-Star game beginning at 7pm on NESN.