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Svechnikov Scores Another Lacrosse-Style Goal

Canes' Russian teenager marvels with The Svech

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

As of the morning of Oct. 29, 2019, no player in National Hockey League history had ever scored a lacrosse-style goal.

That night, Andrei Svechnikov became the first.

"Just Svech doing Svech things," Brian Gibbons marveled.

Just 49 days later, Svechnikov did it again.

Video: CAR@WPG: Svechnikov nets second lacrosse-style goal

Take that and rewind it back.

A 19-year-old accomplished something not just once but twice that no one else at this level ever has. Ever. Period.

"That's unbelievable," Sebastian Aho laughed in disbelief. "That's unreal. Really impressive."

Svechnikov raised a leg and pumped his first, his signature celebration. An astonished Warren Foegele raced after him. "Let's go!" you can see Svechnikov's teammate and friend holler.

"He said he was shocked," Svechnikov said. "He was happy for me."

Jordan Staal initially tossed his arms up in muted celebration, staring at the net, as if he didn't actually believe what he just saw.

"I thought I made a great play kind of drawing that guy to me," Staal joked. But, he's kind of right. His presence in the slot caused Luca Sbisa to drift, and Neal Pionk stood no chance trying to stop Svechnikov. The Russian teenager had all the time and space he needed.

"You can't say enough about the kid," Staal said. "So talented. Such a hard worker. He plays tough and plays hard. He does everything and does everything really, really well. It shows. A goal like that is pretty special. He makes it look easy."

Fittingly, "Oops!... I Did It Again" was blaring in the Carolina Hurricanes' locker room after their 6-3 win in Winnipeg.

"It's not lucky when you practice something over and over," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "He's got the green light to do pretty much anything in the offensive zone when he has the puck."

As in, try the move again.

Still ridiculous? Absolutely. Surprising? Well, Svechnikov did warm everyone.

"If I have room like I had, I'm going to try, for sure," he said after pulling it off against Calgary in late October.

And, sure enough.

"I had a lot of room there," Svechnikov said. "I just tried to put it in the net as quickly as I could."

How did the sequel compare to the original?

The mechanics of it were fairly similar. Svechnikov scooped the puck onto his blade, whipped it around the near side of the net and tucked the puck in the net above the goalie's right shoulder.

Video: CGY@CAR: Svechnikov scores lacrosse-style goal

The execution was slightly different. Against the Flames, Svechnikov skated from the left wing down behind the net before stopping and reversing course to score. This time, it happened in one fluid motion. Svechnikov retrieved a puck along the far wall and skated it down behind the net, where he opened up his hips to face the back of the cage, scooped up the puck and stuffed it in for a near replica goal-of-the-year candidate.

Deciding which was better is a fruitless endeavor. Enjoy both for what they are. After all, it's never happened before.

"I think the kid just wants to score goals. He's a good kid who works hard and wants to score," Staal said. "Honestly, if that's the way you have to score in this league now - I'm jamming it into pads, and he seems to be doing a lot better things with it and finding ways to score goals. It's really special."

A Lacrosse-style goal? The Michigan? No more.

"The Svechy move?" Staal said. "Yeah, I think we're going to call it that now."

If Svechnikov makes a habit of this, The Svech Goal Challenge will be a new All-Star Skills Competition event.

And, he probably will do it again. He's just that talented.

"When I get room, I can score on that move," he said. "I practice it a lot. I feel like when I stop behind the net, if I have room, I'm always going to try that. We'll see. Maybe I'm going to score the next game."

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