History is made, The Pepsi Shoot Out!

Andy Abramson, the 2023 Ed Snider Award co-recipient alongside Mike Richter, has significantly elevated youth hockey’s profile in the Delaware Valley. One of his most impactful initiatives was “The Pepsi Shootout,” a televised competition series featured during intermissions of Flyers’ away games, initially on TV 29 and later on Prism. The competition, inspired by the Boston Bruin’s Mini-One-on-One, started as a shooter versus goalie penalty shot format and eventually evolved to include various formats such as 3 on 2, 2 on 1, and 1 on 1, catering to youth hockey teams of all levels, from Mites to Juniors and also High School teams from across the Delaware Valley area. Teams competed on The Spectrum Ice with the televised segments recorded on a series of mornings of Flyers home games starting at 7 AM. Game officials were assigned by AHAUS officiating supervisors from across the Atlantic District, all of whom volunteered their time to be a part of the program. It was Abramson, in collaboration with Spectrum President Aaron Siegel, former Radnor Rink owner, and AAHA President and AHAUS/USA Hockey Director Ken Gesner, who persuaded Flyers TV Producer Pete Silverman to adopt the Pepsi Shootout concept over a Skate, Pass, and Shoot competition proposed by Gene Hart. Abramson had previously met with former AHAUS Youth Council Vice President Ron DiGregorio in Boston, where he gleaned the best aspects of the Bruins Mini One On One program to create the Pepsi Shootout. With Silverman’s approval, Abramson and Flyers TV Sales Director Pete Huver secured Pepsi as the sponsor. This partnership was later expanded in 1980 to include Pepsi’s sponsorship of The Flyers Cup and, in 1988, the title sponsorship of The Celebrity All-Star Hockey Challenge. The latter event, featuring a match between The Celebrity All-Star Hockey Team and the Flyers Alumni, marked Bobby Clarke’s first on-ice appearance since his retirement in 1984 and was played before a sold-out crowd at the Spectrum.

Club hockey teams

1981 Pepsi Shootout – Toms River vs Westtown

1981 Pepsi Shootout – Westtown vs Glaciers

1981 Pepsi Shootout – Wissahickon vs Westtown

1981 Pepsi Shootout – Chester County vs Mid Penn

High school hockey teams

1982 Pepsi Shootout – Father Judge vs Marple Newtown