SASKATOON, Sask. — It's not harvest season, but you might not see a sweeter apple than the one Max Domi created for a London Knights goal on Monday at the MasterCard Memorial Cup.
In the second period against the Portland Winterhawks, two of the Knights' projected NHL first-round choice, Domi and Bo Horvat, scored the nicest goal of the tournament to date. Needing to get the puck by Winterhawks defenceman Troy Rutkowski's stick to a charging Horvat, Domi pulled the disk back and then threaded it over to his teammate, who flicked it out of the air for the beauty goal.
"You really didn't think he would pull that off, but you expect the unexpected with him," Horvat said. "I just had to get my stick on it. "That's the first time I've seen him do that, even in practice. He's a special player. For him to make him that play at that speed is just incredible."
Horvat even popped the water bottle behind Winterhawks goalie Mac Carruth, who did get the last laugh for the night since Portland won 6-3.
"I would have liked to have made the save, obviously," Carruth said. "Guess I'm going to see myself on TSN or Sportsnet tonight, that's going to be fun. Me and our captain Rutter [Ottawa Senators free-agent signing Troy Rutkowski] both got fooled by it. It wasn't a normal pass, he had to saucer it over Rutter's stick. You just have to tip your cap."
The Knights actually had a frustrating night around the net, with a Horvat goalpost in the second period being one among a few missed chances. Ironically, the play that connected had the highest degree of difficulty. It also illustrated why although NHL Central Scouting has Domi ranked 19th among North American defenceman and forwards for next month's entry draft, the son of former Toronto Maple Leaf Tie Domi might crack the top 15. If not, there might be some NHL organizations that live to rue passing on him.
"To be honest with you, that's all I had," Domi said. "I got really lucky. You grow up practising stuff like that and just having fun with it. That's part of hockey, just having fun. A lot of luck there, though."
One has to feel a little for Portland's scoring ace, Ty Rattie. The St. Louis Blues prospect once again scored a beauty goal in the second period, but it didn't become a talker because of a bit of brilliance from a younger star. Saturday, that was the Halifax Mooseheads' Nathan MacKinnon scoring a hat trick against Portland; Monday, it was Domi's dish.
Rattie scored off a similar gambit against Halifax.
"The kid's a magician," Winterhawks left wing Taylor Leier said of Rattie. "He's fooled two D-men already this tournament and you never know when he's going to do it again."
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org (videos: Rogers Sportsnet).