Video: To win the fan shootout, you must become the puck

Rookie defenseman Luke Schenn continued to make his case for playing in the NHL this season, scoring the game-winning skills competition goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs against the St. Louis Blues last night.

(Perhaps the most compelling reason the 19-year-old should stick: The crowd chanted "Luuuuke" when he touched the puck; what a perfect way to cover up the boos at Leafs games this season. "They're not booing, Bob ... they're 'Luke-ing.'")

Ah, but how would Schenn have fared in the shootout had he been forced to wear a giant puck around his waist, as the fans in the Proline Shoot for Loot competition must. Here's last night's big winner, YouTuber HarrisonRuess, who overcame the costuming disadvantages and pocketed $2,250 last night (in still-worth-more-than-spit Canadian dollars, no less).

Growing up in Jersey, I'd tear into the game-night program like Charlie into a Wonka bar to see if any players had signed a random auto advertisement -- so I could be one of the lucky fans to play New Jersey Devils Score-O between periods.

This was one of those games where they put you and several others at center ice; your mission is to get the puck through a small rectangular hole in the middle of a board placed in front of the net. I always wanted my chance to win because I was determined to fight the system. If you were under a certain age (18?), you were ineligible to win the fabulous new car that went to the season's champion. No, your reward was some crappy mountain bike. Because Central Jersey is like the Himalayas.

If I had ever won the big prize, I would have screamed "ageism!" and litigated until they gave me the damn car. It would have been just like that movie "Kidco," but more frivolous.

Score-O and "Shoot for Loot" seem quaint compared to some of the in-game fan competitions these days. The Leafs have a race between fans in goalie equipment. I've also seen races in sumo gear, too. Really, anytime you mix those inflatable sumo wrestling costumes with a sporting event, that's comedy gold right there.

One of the best games is where fans have to ride tricycles around the ice. It reminds me of Takashi's race from "Revenge of the Nerds"; minus the beer chugging. 

What are your favorite between-periods fan competitions?

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