When two teams struggle to find the back of the net, it’s easy to assume that a puck that landed somewhere beyond the trapezoid is fair game. Such was the case after Nick Jensen wired a slapshot at Brad Thiessen in overtime last night; he was assumed to have missed, and play continued.
Little did anybody realize, however, that he had won the game.
As you can see, Jensen’s slapshot not only went into the net, it straight up with through it. It happens from time to time; most famously when Shea Weber did it in the 2010 Olympics. But it’s that much sweeter when it’s your team that does it; and even better when it’s the game’s only goal, in overtime.
“My head was a little down, and then when I looked up you could see it go toward the net a little bit and it slung out and didn’t hit the boards and came out on an angle,” Jensen told reporters after the game. “I saw the net move so I was about 80 to 90 percent sure it went in.”
Because nobody noticed it, play continued for the entirety of overtime before referees called for a video review and discovered that the puck went into the net. Since AHL referees are mic-less, fans weren’t given a clear indication of what was going on; they saw a huddle, heard a goal horn, and realized that their Griffins had won.
While the situation led to a pretty anti-climatic ending, it’s nice to see that the referees were proactive in reviewing the goal after the stoppage. Certainly, a successful review would have been useful earlier in the week when Riley Sheahan had the same thing happen to him with the big club against Anaheim.
Whatever the case, it was a nice reward for the Griffins, who outplayed the Lake Erie Monsters in this 1-0 victory. Grand Rapids outshot their opponents in every period of regulation, peppering Thiessen with 39 shots over 62 minutes. Jared Coreau finished the night with a 30-save shutout as well. The win helped the Griffins solidify their third seed in the Western Conference; the team now has a 23-12-1 record and a 0.653 points percentage; good for sixth in the league.
Grand Rapids plays their next game tomorrow afternoon against the Chicago Wolves, affiliates of the St. Louis Blues. Chicago might dress Richard Nedomlel, who was recently acquired from the Red Wings.