A couple of days after being named the Western Hockey League's Player of the Week, Portland Winterhawks forward Brendan Leipsic pulled off likely the top contender for the goal of the year. He pulled the puck between his legs and sniped it top shelf on Everett Silvertips goalie Austin Lotz in the second period of the Winterhawks' 9-1 win on Wednesday.
Although the move has been pulled off prior to this season, Leipsic likely found his inspiration for the deke from San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl and Columbus Blue Jackets winger Nick Folingo. Both snipers received attention earlier in the year for pulling off the sick move.
Despite scoring the nicest goal of the game by a country mile, Leipsic didn’t even crack the contest's three stars. Teammates Paul Bittner (2G-2A), Matthew Dumba (1A) and Ethan Price (1G-1A) took those bragging rates in that respective order. Either Leipsic forgot to buy the person who picks the stars a Christmas gift, or Dumba and Price must have had exceptional showings in between the goals.
When Lotz saw Leipsic barreling down the wing, he may have been thinking ‘Oh no – not again.’ In December of 2012, Leipsic collided with Lotz while going full speed towards the net. It knocked the wind out of the Silvertips goalie to say the least. Lotz likely didn’t throw as many darts at Leipsic’s face on his dart board this time, but it’s safe to say the deke didn't bring the Manitoba boys together as BFFs.
The goal gives Leipsic 30 snipes and 65 points in 39 games on the year. The odds are clearly against him to match the 120-point season he posted last year with only 21 contests left on the schedule. The Nashville Predators prospect, however, should still finish in the league’s top-five scorers despite missing 12 matches due to injury and suspension.
Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen