I have never experienced celebrating a goal while playing hockey, but I can only imagine that it might be tough to contain your emotions and not fall on your face, being so damn excited. You have to not only accept the fact that you just did a miraculous task of scoring during this wild sport, but you also want to look badass as hell during your celebration in the plexiglass-enclosed area.
Well, Minnesota Wild prospect Ryan O’Rourke might have given too much thought into looking super sick and not enough to staying on his feet on Friday.
During the second period against the London Knights in the clash between two OHL superpowers, O’Rourke swiped the puck away once a teammate completely demolished a helpless opponent. With one bank off the boards, he was off to the races and in all alone against the goaltender. Although this blog isn’t about the goal itself and more so what’s coming in a couple seconds, it was a really skilled play of awareness and the ability to cleanly beat the Knights player to end up scoring the Greyhounds’ first goal of the game.
But after, O’Rourke was so stoked that he got his team on the board, that he was either trying to chest bump the glass or just simply found himself on a trajectory to crash into the boards and faceplant on the ice. Kudos to him though, even after his legs were sprawled into the air, he somehow landed perfectly on his knees, as if he meant to do it all along; even playing it cool and giving the glass another celebration bump on his way up.
After playing his full season with the AHL Iowa Wild, O’Rourke was finally able to re-join the Greyhounds, and has so far through 13 games, scored three goals and 12 total points, for what will be his final year in junior. A weird disjointed development path for a then 18-year-old to play professional hockey and then go back down when his junior league has games actually happening, can make O’Rourke a sort of unique player. Could either accelerate any growth and we can see him leading the Iowa blue line almost immediately, or cause some concern for why it might be taking longer since he’s been bouncing around.
The 2020 second-round pick is certainly part of a steady and forceful group of defensemen in the Wild system. Along with Carson Lambos, Deamon Hunt, and Calen Addison, O’Rourke holds the key to keeping this team competitive as the existing blue line gets older.
Maybe he will just keep on scoring goals and falling down. That would be cool.
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