Azurdia’s highlight reel goal goes viral
The only thing going through Austin Azurdia’s mind was the repercussions of his team blowing a three-goal lead.
“All I was thinking was ‘oh my god … we are going to get absolutely bagged; we are toast,’” he said on Monday afternoon following practice.
Azurdia and his Langley Rivermen teammates were locked in a 3-3 tie with the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings on Sunday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre.
The Rivermen were up 3-0 a dozen minutes into the game and the junior A hockey club looked to have its third-straight victory in the bag in the late stages of the third period. But Prince George’s Justin Rai scored twice in 55 seconds to tie the score.
Azurdia said he knew his line would likely get the last shift. And after he gave the puck away, Logan Smith recovered it behind the Langley goal and passed it to fellow d-man Bo Pellah.
Pellah hit the winger with a tape-to-tape pass in the neutral zone.
“I figured I had been going wide on the rushes all game so I figured why not try something?” Azurdia said.
Azurdia executed a perfect toe drag around the Prince George defender. With his man beat, he saw the top corner was open and his shot beat Kirk Thompson with 0.3 seconds left.
Azurdia said he had tried a variation of the move before in midget hockey, but this was his first time at the junior level.
It was Azurdia’s fourth goal and fifth point in the two games — including both game-winners in 3-2 and 4-3 wins — and earned him the BCHL player of the week honours.
The goal has also gone viral with Global News, TSN, ESPN and the Sports Illustrated and Yahoo websites all featuring Azurdia’s heroics.
“It is crazy, you would never expect that from a regular season game, not even an overtime goal,” Azurdia said.
“I have to give props to Brandon Astle, our commentator. He made it pretty special.”