Are young hockey players more dexterous now than they used to be? It might seem that way, and for good reason. Many of them are imitating the moves they see in online videos. One of the most inspiring of those maneuvers is the lacrosse-style shot. Such shots often leave fans wondering: How did they do that?
The lacrosse-style goal became famous on March 24, 1996. That day, University of Michigan hockey star Mike Legg used his stick to pick up the puck behind the opposing team’s net. He turned and whizzed it past the University of Minnesota’s goalie as though he were throwing a lacrosse ball. Since then, this type of goal is often referred to as a Michigan goal.
Michigan goals are rare, and they take incredible timing and coordination. You must be creative enough to know when you can get away with one and fast enough to keep the puck from falling to the ice before you score.
Rob Hisey provided a perfect example. A player for the Barrie Colts, a junior hockey team in Ontario, Hisey achieved this goal in a shootout during the 2004-05 season. He made it even more amazing by doing a 360-degree spin before releasing the puck.
In 2015, Alexei Tkachuk, a professional hockey player in Russia, accomplished this feat as well. Also, Team Canada’s Mason Raymond, who once played for the NHL, scored a lacrosse-style goal in the 2017 Sochi Hockey Open.
At least a couple people younger than 14 have wowed crowds with these goals in recent years. In 2007, Texas hockey player Max Gerlach, age 9, was featured on ESPN for his Michigan goal. And, in early 2015, Ian Usiak, a youth hockey player from Cazenovia, NY, made one. It happened during a tournament game at Buffalo’s HarborCenter, and media outlets across the United States picked up the story.
If you’re ever skating around with a friend, you might want to attempt a Michigan goal yourself. If nothing else, you may gain a new appreciation for Mike Legg and his successors.