NILSSON'S INCREDIBLE GOAL
by Bill McLaughlin
Voice of the Sound Tigers
Word of the play has already spread throughout the hockey world. It's becoming the stuff of which legends are made, but you have to see IT for yourself. Although those who saw it in-person and who have had a chance to watch the replay, still aren't convinced about what exactly it is they saw.
"I've never seen anything like that in my career. It was one of those things that when it happened, you weren't sure what happened, and after I saw the replay, all I could say was 'Wow'!," Sound Tigers head coach Dave Baseggio said.
"Oh, it was unbelievable," said linemate Sean Bergenheim.
Holding a 2-1 second-period lead on the road versus the top team in the AHL, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Sound Tigers controlled the puck in the offensive zone as time wound down on a power play. Defenseman Joel Bouchard's shot from the point sailed wide right and wrapped up the boards where Wyatt Smith corralled the disc, side-stepped a hit and moved it along to Robert Nilsson.
Skating with the puck on his forehand as he moved behind the net, Nilsson turned his stick so that the heel was up and the tip of the blade was pointing at the ice. Then, in one quick and fluid movement, the Islanders' first pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft lifted the puck up off the ice onto the tip of his inverted blade and jammed it just inside the post and under the cross bar as he rounded the cage for one of the most amazing goals ever scored.
It happened so fast that the goal light never went on. In fact, the goal judge and referee never even reacted. The puck ricocheted back out into the slot, but Smith swatted home the rebound then immediately turned to point at Nilsson who was already on his way to the bench to celebrate with teammates. The officials conferred and eventually awarded the goal to Nilsson.
"I've seen some other people do it, and it's the type of play you want to try. It was fun," Nilsson said. "I don't even know what I was thinking...I just did it!"
Not only was it a highlight-reel play, but it was also a huge goal as Wilkes- Barre/Scranton rallied for a pair of third-period goals to tie the score at 3- 3. However, Sound Tigers goaltender Frederic Cloutier's followed a 41-save effort through regulation and overtime by stopping four of five attempts in the shootout where Nilsson and Jeremy Colliton scored to give the Sound Tigers a 4-3 win, their fourth in a row against the league-leading Penguins.