Individual efforts like the goal Guelph Storm defenceman Andrey Pedan scored Tuesday are just not supposed to happen in playoff hockey, where's it's about systems and scouting and tight checking. Yet when the Guelph Storm arrived at their most desperate hour after being muffled by Kitchener Rangers goalie John Gibson for the equivalent of 2½ games, the 19-year-old Russian delivered something special.
Pedan, resembling the older kid toying with his younger sibling's friends on the outdoor rink, slalomed through a gauntlet of Ranger sticks before scything a backhand by Gibson, breaking the Anaheim Ducks prospect's 153-minute, 54-second shutout skein. It was the biggest goal of the Storm's season, since they were looking at a 3-0 series deficit and instead completed a three-goal rally to win and get back in the OHL first-round series.
Pedan has plenty of motivation, since the Islanders have a June 1 deadline to sign him or he becomes a free agent.
Way to ruin Kitchener defenceman Frank Corrado's 20th birthday, Andrey. Nice going. Kitchener coach-GM Steve Spott chalked the loss up to his team being "soft mentally." On that play, it just looked like a big guy with a confluence of skill and size outmanoeuvred and outwitted six players.
It was the type of goal that made one wistful for the days when sports had less of the programmed-players element. Pedan is logging extra minutes since Storm captain Matt Finn is out with a knee injury; his team hosts Game 4 of their series Thursday against the Rangers.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org (video: Rogers Television).