With the NHL needing a replacement in the All-Star skills competition on Friday night, it didn’t take long for someone to come to the rescue. That’s what happens when Kendall Coyne Schofield, one of the speediest players on the U.S. women’s national team, is on the scene and willing to compete in the fastest skater event.
Coyne Schofield, 26, was already attending the festivities in San Jose, Calif., and planning to demonstrate her skills when organizers asked if she would like to replace Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, who could not compete because of a bruised left foot. She responded on Twitter, quickly making history as the first woman to compete in the event.
“It would be my honor,” she replied. “I’ll get to the rink as fast as I can! #NHLAllStar #HockeyIsForEveryone.”
Coyne Schofield led off the eight skaters, posting a time of 14.346 seconds. That would hold up for seventh place, beating out Arizona’s Clayton Keller (14.526). Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (13.378) took the title for the third year in a row.
“I thought she was unbelievable,” McDavid said of Coyne Schofield. “She was absolutely flying out there.”
According to the NHL’s Department of Hockey Operations, Coyne Schofield was timed in 14.226 seconds during Thursday’s testing without warming up and after a five-hour flight. That time would have good for sixth place among eight skaters in last year’s event.
MacKinnon will also miss the All-Star Game on Saturday.
—Field Level Media