Buzzing The Net

Halifax Mooseheads’ Nathan MacKinnon scores sick playoff goal, gets even sweeter assist (VIDEO)

Halifax Mooseheads centre Nathan MacKinnon (Richard Wolowicz, Getty Images)

Another Nathan MacKinnon does something amazing post — yeah, that's right.

Perhaps the Halifax Mooseheads could have kept their season alive with the typically beautifully ugly playoff goal. MacKinnon, the 16-year-old who's pegged to be the NHL's No. 1 draft pick in 2013, reached back for a little extra on Friday night. With the Mooseheads square at 2-2 with the Quebec Remparts in the third period and down 3-1 in the QMJHL playoff series, playing their perhaps final game of the season in front of a massive crowd of 9,664, MacKinnon scored the winning goal on a fantabulous solo effort. After taking a short pass as he crossed the blueline, he realized the Remparts defenders Marc-Antonie Carrier and Mikaël Tam were just stepping on the ice and had yet to get their bearings.

In that split second, he created space, brushed off a stick check from likely NHL lottery pick Mikhail Grigorenko and wired in the winning goal. It was his 10th goal in nine playoff games; if the Mooseheads can keep playing, there's a chance MacKinnon will set a team record for goals in one playoff year. Remember, he's 16 years old.

The play begins at 1:18 in the video below.

"I saw the two defencemen changing, they had just got on the ice and were a little flat-footed," MacKinnon told Mooseheads play-by-play man John Moore. "I knew I didn't have enough room to beat them wide, so I thought I'd stutter-step them. I just put the puck on the net and luckily enough, it went under his [Quebec goalie Louis Domingue's] stick."

Honestly, though, the real reason to highlight MacKinnon's goal was because the Mooseheads' highlight reel also features the three-way passing play where he and fellow rookie beat a veteran defence tandem to set up teammate Trey Lewis for a one-timed goal. Using his blazing speed, MacKinnon backed up Tam, a fifth-year player. Then it practically looked like he turned the puck on its edge as he slid a pass by Tam to a cutting Drouin, who sliced through a tiny space between Tam and fourth-year defenceman Martin Lefebvre before backhanding a pass to a trailing Lewis for the snipe.

It starts at the 0:53 mark of the video below.

Whether the Mooseheads can win twice in Quebec and complete their comeback remains to be seen. It is for certain that it will be a good long time before the QMJHL sees another playoff series featuring so much young talent — MacKinnon, Drouin and their Halifax goalie Zachary Fucale and the Remparts' Adam Erne and Anthony Duclair are all in their 16-year-old seasons.

(Stick tap: Kevin Cowper.)

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at neatesager@yahoo.ca and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (videos: John Moore, Halifax Mooseheads).

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