Eight years ago last week, at the tail end of the call on Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin's incredible sprawling goal against the Phoenix Coyotes, the announcer makes the proclamation, "He may be the only guy who could score that goal."
It must be something about the name Alex.
Because Ramsey (N.J.) High junior forward Alex Whelan -- albeit against prep and not NHL competition -- submitted a goal that rivals Ovechkin's highlight in every way.
In the video posted on NJ.com, Whelan skates down the left side of the ice in the first period of Sunday's Bergen County tournament semifinals against rival Glen Rock (N.J.) High, dives headfirst for a loose puck, swinging his stick with his left hand. Whelan's stick collides with the goalie's attempt to clear the puck, sending it over the goaltender's head and into the net for a 1-0 lead just 5:45 into the game. Ramsey went on to win, 3-0.
For anyone who calls this a fluke, Ramsey coach Bob Toy presents a counterargument.
"Alex is almost like a wrecking ball," Toy told The Star-Ledger. "He's a leader. He gets the puck and wills his way around, even through people on the ice. His drive, his brute strength and his quick, heavy release allow him to score some pretty amazing goals."
He came in like a wrecking ball. Where have I heard that before?
Anyhow, Whelan's only a junior, and his ridiculous goal against Glen Rock gave him 22 to go along with 18 assists through 16 games for the Rams (15-1) this season, according to The Star-Ledger. The young forward already has five hat tricks, capturing Player of the Month honors from the New Jersey Devils in December.
The Bergen Record's returning North Jersey Ice Hockey Player of the Year, he tallied 36 goals and 32 assists last season and already has 144 points in his young career.
Alexander the Great had a successor, his son Alexander IV, but things didn't turn out too well for him. Here's hoping the wrecking ball that is Alex Whelan turns out better.
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