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Sick mitts: Belleville Bulls’ Austen Brassard, Niki Petti keep puck airborne for 30 seconds during practice (VIDEO)

Belleville Bulls rookie Niki Petti (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)

After a whistle during a hockey game, you might see a player flip the puck up on his stick and bounce it a couple times before returning it to the linesman who skates it to the faceoff date. That's just a tease for what players can do in practice.

You have heard of players who can make the puck dance, but Belleville Bulls teammates Austen Brassard and Niki Petti made it defy gravity during a practice a couple weeks ago. By unofficial count, Petti (left shot, facing camera) and Brassard (right shot) kept the puck from hitting the ice for a full 30 seconds. The unofficial count was 42 touches, with each Bulls forward using his feet during this hockey twist on hacky sack.

That gives you an appreciation for how much hand-eye coordination is possessed by developing hockey players. Brassard, 19, is a fifth-round pick of the Winnipeg Jets. Petti is a 16-year-old rookie centre who was the Bulls' top draft choice last spring. That's pretty impressive for something they were just doing for a lark during praccy. To compare, get two hockey sticks, a puck, a friend and see how long the two of you can keep it from hitting the floor. It probably will not be for near as long as these two did while wearing encumbering hockey equipment.

(Stick tap: David Foot.)

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (video: Austin McKay).

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