Scoring a game-winning overtime goal in an Stanley Cup Playoff game is a moment every hockey player dreams about, and it happened for Matt Beleskey in last night’s Game 5 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center. But just as memorable as the goal was the celebration that came immediately after Beleskey punched in a rebound off a Ryan Kesler shot into the back of the Blackhawks net just 45 seconds into OT.
This morning, Beleskey took us through that celebration step-by-step, starting with him flying through the air with arms raised, conjuring memories of one of the most iconic photographs in hockey history.
I just saw the puck go in the net, went to put my hands up and tripped. That wasn’t planned, that’s for sure. It’s pretty funny to watch.
I’ve seen it compared to the Bobby Orr photo, though it wasn’t nearly as graceful as Bobby’s was. I wouldn’t expect it to be, but it’s nice to see those pictures together. It’s pretty awesome.
The first thing I saw after that was Kes on top of me. He kind of shielded me from the rest of the guys. That’s kind of a nightmare for me being on the bottom of one of those pileups. I don’t really have claustrophobia issues, but when I’m that excited and out of breath, it’s kind of crazy.
I don’t even think anybody knows that they’re yelling when they get into a pile like that. I had to watch the celebration again just to see what happened in that moment. Everyone is yelling something and you’re getting a face-wash or a punch in the head or two. It’s really fun when you can have that much fun and have that feeling with your teammates.
I think you can see me trying to get out of there pretty quick. I ended up on my stomach, and it’s not very fun to celebrate with just the ice. I just wanted to get out and see all the guys, so I kind of army-crawled my way out of the pile.
I watched it again when I was eating here in the arena after the game, and my wife and I watched it a few times when I got home. Then obviously on Twitter you get all kinds of hilarious reactions. It’s fun seeing that.
Obviously Ducks fans are amazing, the support they’ve given me all year, plus last night, was just a lot of fun. With that and the texts I was getting from everybody, it was a record-setting night for sure.