"Oh! Look at that one! Mikael Granlund, are you kidding!"
That was the call from TSN's Dave Randorf after Finland's Mikael Granlund scored what many are calling the goal of the year at the World Championship on Friday.
Early in the second period of Finland's semifinal win against Russia, Granland gathered the puck deep along the end boards in the Russian zone, stick-handled past a defender and behind the net, flipped the puck onto the blade of his stick, and flung it into the Russian's net, lacrosse style, to give the Fins a 1-0 lead.
"Let's leave those lacrosse moves on the lacrosse floor," said former coach Mike Keenan. "But what entertainment; the young kids are going to say, 'Wow! I'm going to go out and try that now for sure.'"
Twice before has a goal like Granlund's been scored. In 1996, the University of Michigan's Mike Legg defeated the University of Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament with a similar goal, and in 2006 Sidney Crosby scored one just like it while with the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL.
But what made Granlund's goal extra special was that while both Legg and Crosby scored their goals standing still behind the net, Granlund pulled it off at full speed.
"This is all special," said TSN hockey analyst Mike Johnson. "Granlund pulls the puck through the legs of a Russian defender, sees an opportunity to score the first goal - the game-winning goal - and he pulls off an unbelievably skilled move. That is special."
As for Granlund, he took a humble approach to his highlight reel goal. When asked about it post-game, the 19-year-old first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Wild said he was just happy he could help his team win.
"It was a nice goal but that's all. Every goal counts and that was our first goal. It was important."
Finland won the game 3-0 to advance to the gold-medal game at the World Championship where they will take on Sweden. The game can be seen on TSN, Sunday at 4:30pm et/1:30pm pt.