For sheer inventiveness, it's been a while since one has come across a gem like the one Austin Cangelosi pulled from who knows where to score the overtime winner for the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms on Monday.
Cangelosi, who is planning to join the Frozen Four champion Boston College Eagles next season, told the media he had a hard time processing what he did to score the winner in Youngstown's 4-3 triumph over the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. The 17-year-old native of Estero, Fla., was leading a Phantoms rush with Cedar Rapids having three defenders back. Since you do anything to get the puck on net in sudden-death overtime, where each rush could be your last, Cangelosi had to try something. But at 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, his chance of breaking through the three defenders Cedar Rapids had back seemed rather remote.
So Cangelosi, who's been described as classic crafty centre, got his Bubba Watson on and chipped the puck high and out of reach of Cedar Rapids' John Gilmour before darting in to flip it over goalie Jacob Hildebrand and create a magical playoff moment. Phantoms play-by-play man Bart Logan's state of nirvana really competed the tableau.
Typically, the puck magician is able to explain his tricks. But Cangelosi admitted he was a little stunned the move worked. As well he should have; it's not easy to flip the puck up in such a fashion and have any idea where or how it might land.
From Tom Williams:
"I meant to do it, but it didn't register," said Cangelosi of the unusual goal. "I processed it, but it didn't process through my head. Somehow something came out of it.
"It was trickling down behind his back and I was just ecstatic," Cangelosi said of his reaction to the red light. "I popped down on one knee, I couldn't believe it." (Youngstown Vindicator)
Phantoms coach Anthony Noreen told the Vindicator "I don't know how many people in the world would have been creative enough" to attempt that shot. You could also wonder how many coaches in the world would have been comfortable enough with their players trying that in overtime instead of doing something more conventional.
Cangelosi's future college team, of course, won the Frozen Four two weeks ago and is well-known for relying on small, quick forwards such as Calgary Flames fourth-rounder Johnny Gaudreau, who scored clinching goal for the Eagles in the NCAA final. Suffice to say, Boston College backers have another worth waiting for.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (video: Youngstown Phantoms).