At the end of a penalty kill on Wednesday, Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mathew Dumba emerged from a scrum with the puck and decided to go for a little skate — and hockey fans are better off for it, well, unless they are diehard Saskatoon Blades supporters.
Dumba, a candidate for Canada's national junior team and the Minnesota Wild's first-round choice in last summer's NHL draft, gave new meaning to the phrase "sticking with it" by completing a solo rush by scoring while sliding on his knees. Dumba got slashed and lost his footing as he split the Blades' defence pair of Duncan Siemens and Darren Dietz, but kept control of the puck as he slid toward the goal. He was still on one knee when he ripped the puck past goalie Andrey Makarov.
Good thing the referee ordered the players to keep the play moving when the puck was jammed under Saskatoon's Josh Nicholls in the Rebels zone moments earlier.
Saskatoon coach-GM Lorne Molleken didn't criticize his team's effort on the play, conceding Dumba simply pulled off something brilliant.
From Daniel Nugent-Bowman:
"For the most part there's always a mistake when a goal is scored. But the way I look at it is he made a great play. He's that type of player that's capable of doing that. (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)
Moments such as this are why people are so high on Dumba's potential as an offensive defenceman. He posted 20 goals and 57 points last season in Red Deer, which is impressive considering he was only 17 at the time and was on a team which was thin offensively, costing him the chance to pad out his numbers.
The 18-year-old Calgary native's all-out style can cost him by times, but it's more fun to watch a player who hasn't been coached out of taking a chance to rush the puck or deliver an open-ice bodycheck. This goal came as part of a great all-around night for Dumba; he anchored a Rebels penalty killing unit that held the Blades power play to 1-for-7 on the night, a big key in Red Deer's impressive 5-3 road win over the MasterCard Memorial Cup champions.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.