There was just one game on the USHL schedule last night and was it ever a doozy. The Dubuque Fighting Saints put their perfect 9-0-0 record on the line against the U.S. National Under-18 Team in Ann Arbor.
After finishing regulation and then overtime in a 1-1 tie, the game went to a shootout. The only player to score was Under-18 forward Kevin Labanc, who ended Dubuque’s winning streak with some kind of authority…
That’s the type of goal that would make Pavel Datsyuk tip a cap. I think everyone in the building might have pulled a groin biting on that fake.
Dubuque’s Connor Girard was the on-ice victim of Labanc’s trickery, but in his defense, he made 29 stops in 65 minutes of action, keeping the Saints in a tough contest.
Labanc’s teammate Thatcher Demko, who earned the win in net for Team USA and has probably seen some of these moves in practice, highlighted just how devastating Labanc’s deke really was.
— Thatcher Demko (@thatcher_hockey) November 2, 2012
In talking with the Team USA staff, I’ve heard rave reviews about Labanc’s puck skills and creativity. Guess we know why now.
Labanc, who won’t be NHL Draft eligible until 2014, is committed to the University of Notre Dame. The 5-10, 176-pound native of Staten Island, N.Y., has two goals and five assists in 15 games this season.
The above video was actually shot by fellow Notre Dame-commit Sonny Milano, a forward for the U.S. National Under-17 Team. Milano has some skills of his own with 10 points through 12 games, good for second on the U17 squad. Stick-tap to him for this terrific angle.
UPDATE: Here’s the other angle of the goal.