It was in 1996. Mike Legg, player from the University of Michigan, planted the seed of what would later become one of the most difficult (and at the same time spectacular) goals in the world of ice hockey. It was the goal called ‘Michigan’, inspired by some scoring plays of the lacrosse.
The play involves prodigious technique. You need to carry the ice hockey puck on the stick behind the goal to put it over the goalkeeper’s shoulder, into the goal corner. All this at enormous speed and in the face of opposition from his rivals. They are plays that are seen every five years.
Last morning there were two, something unheard of. Connor Bedardthe young star of the 18 Year Old Blackhawks, number 1 in the 2023 draft, scored a goal like this in Chicago’s game against the Blues. “I’ve tried it many times and today it worked,” he said later. “I don’t know how I can do it. He is going to be a great ambassador for our sport”commented Wayne Greatzkythe ‘Michael Jordan’ of ice hockey.
23 years later
If Michigan’s first goal was in 1996, in the NCAA tournament, it took 23 years for it to be seen in the NHL. It was the Russian striker Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov the one who executed it perfectly in a game against the Flames. The most curious thing is that it was only the second goal of the Russian’s career.
One hour after the prodigy of Bedard in Saint Louiswhere the Blackhawks fell (7-5), a similar play came from another center, the one from the Ducks, Trevor Zegras, who reappeared after 20 games out due to injury. The American scored the third goal in his career in Michigan style although he could not prevent his team’s defeat against the Kraken (3-2).