Everett Silvertips wing Nikita Scherbak’s decision not to quit on a third period play Wednesday night greatly paid off. He went from turning over the puck to scoring a highlight-reel goal.
After taking the puck into the offensive zone and losing it in a defender’s feet, the Montreal Canadiens draft choice grabbed the loose puck, slid by two Tri-City Americans near the blueline and sniped it top shelf when he found an open area near the left hand side of the net. He managed to get all five Tri-City players on the ice watching while he was en route to his 23rd goal of the season. The icing on the cake is that he scored on arguably the best goalie in the WHL, Winnipeg Jets second-rounder Eric Comrie.
The goal gave Everett a 3-2 lead at the 12:05 mark in the final frame. But unfortunately for Scherbak and the rest of the Silvertips, the Americans went on to tie the game up and won it in a shootout.
Nonetheless, the single point is still valuable to Everett in the standings. It gives them a seven-point lead on the Portland Winterhawks for top spot in the U.S. Division.
With incredible speed, elite skill and soft hands, few and far between can play at Scherbak’s level in the Dub. His jaw-dropping shifts show why he was selected with the 26th pick in the 2014 NHL entry draft. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder's two-point effort (assisted Remi Laurencelle’s first period goal) against the Americans gives him 23 goals and 68 points in 49 games on the season with a plus-26 rating. Can someone remind me again why Russia didn’t think he was good enough to play in the 2015 world junior championship?
Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen