One of the earliest candidates for goal of the year didn't even come from the confines of an NHL arena.
Century High School defenseman Alec Rauhauser scored an unconventional power play goal in the first period against North Dakota arch-rival Bismarck High on Tuesday en route to a four-point performance. Alone behind the opposing net, Rauhauser whipped an uncontested, backhanded lacrosse-style shot to stun the goaltender and give Century an early lead. He later went on to record a hat trick and also notched the primary assist to seal the win in overtime.
“It’s a pretty special night,” Rauhauser told the Bismarck Tribune. “They just let me set up behind the net, and I decided to pick it up with my backhand and go upstairs.”
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(h/t to Puck Daddy)