Connor McMichael did his best Alex Ovechkin impression for the Hershey Bears on Sunday.
With the Bears down 2-1 to the Binghamton Devils late in the third period, McMichael forced overtime with a goal with 53 seconds remaining. He then scored a goal in the final second of overtime to give the Bears a 3-2 win.
This is incredible?
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) March 21, 2021
McMichael’s overtime winner came after a rush up ice by the Devils. Bears goaltender Zach Fucale made the save and quickly moved the puck up the ice to McMichael. The Caps prospect put a pedestrian shot on net from the right wing that was saved by Binghamton goaltender Evan Cormie, but Garrett Pilon snagged up the rebound along the side wall. He found McMichael in the slot again for a one-timer. The 2019 first-round pick scored with one second left.
“I honestly didn’t know there was that much time left on the clock,” McMichael said after the game. “I didn’t know how many seconds were left. [Garrett Pilon] made a great play to me. I was just trying to get it on net. Thankfully, I beat the buzzer.”
Late in the third period, the Bears pulled Fucale for an extra attacker and Hershey appeared to tie with 1:13 left.
According to the Bears:
Hershey’s Garrett Pilon snapped a shot from the left point, and teammate Joe Snively deflected the puck from the slot past Cormier. However, referee Furman South determined the puck was knocked in with a high stick, and the goal was disallowed.
So Carbery called time out, lifted Fucale for an extra attacker again, and 20 seconds later, McMichael scored after finding a loose puck in the slot. Pilon and captain Matt Moulson assisted on the tying marker.
“Growing up, I’ve always been a guy that coaches put out there to tie games up,” McMichael said. “Anytime you can do that for the team, it feels amazing. Thankfully, the puck was sitting there and all I had to do was chip it in. It was a pretty easy one tonight. It could have been me, it could have been anyone. I’m just happy we got the win.”
Connor called game. pic.twitter.com/GPWvaGFXd3
— Chocolate Hockey (@ChocHockey) March 21, 2021
McMichael now has six goals, three assists, and nine points in 14 career AHL games. In his fifth career game, he scored his first professional hat trick.
“It’s been a great experience,” McMichael said. “We have a great team here. All the guys are great to me. I’m having a lot of fun. We’ve kind of been in a slump lately but hopefully this game turns it around. Just one thing I’ve really learned is that every mistake you make in this league is crucial. If you make a little mistake, it’s in the back of your net. Just staying with your game and playing how you know how to. Just try not to make mistakes and keep it simple and you’ll get more used to it every game.”
WATCH – Connor McMichael on his buzzer beater: "I honestly didn't know there was that much time left on the clock." pic.twitter.com/hayNLY55xu
— Chocolate Hockey (@ChocHockey) March 22, 2021
Headline photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey
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