CEDAR RAPIDS — Leave it to Dylan McLaughlin’s teammates to keep him grounded during the biggest week of his hockey life.
“He’s really not that good,” one kidded as a reporter was talking to McLaughlin after practice Wednesday.
Initially lost in the hoopla surrounding the Stanley Cup being in town last Saturday and the utter craziness of an 8-7 shootout loss to Green Bay was McLaughlin’s creative and brilliant goal for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. It’s one that has shown up on www.nhl.com and www.yahoosports.com and was the top play on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Tuesday night.
“It’s been pretty crazy,” McLaughlin said. “I never would have thought anything like this would happen.”
McLaughlin took a pass from teammate Alec Marsh on right wing inside the Green Bay zone, put his stick and puck between his legs and shot from behind his leg left, roofing a perfectly placed shot into the net. Perhaps the top goal in the 14-year history of the RoughRiders.
“The thing that I liked about it was that he was playing with no fear,” said Riders Coach Mark Carlson. “We talk about that all the time with our guys. There’s a time and a place, and that was the right time and the right place to try that. It was great.”
McLaughlin said the shot came solely from spur-of-the-moment instinct.
“The pass was just a little bit in front of me,” he said. “I just brought it between my legs and shot it. Looking back at it, I didn’t start it all (intentionally). It just happened. I don’t even know why I did it, really. I saw it go in, and I guess I was just shocked at first. I never thought that would go in. I didn’t really get a lot of (power) on it.”
The 17-year-old was acquired in an offseason trade from Sioux Falls. He had just one goal last season but has three already this season.
Including one that got him on national television.“That was really exciting, just mostly crazy,” McLaughlin said. “I’ve watched SportsCenter my whole life. Just being on the Top 10 is an honor.”