Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Picks for Top Hockey plays of 2014

As 2015 is upon us, I thought I’d share my top hockey plays of 2014. For the top three plays, there are links to the videos of those plays. 

#4 Darcy Kuemper opening the 2014-2015 NHL season with back-to-back shutouts for the Minnesota Wild.

The Wild were one of two teams to start the season with back-to-back shut outs when they won the first two games of the season in a home-and-home series against the Colorado Avalanche. (The San Jose Sharks were the other team, but both their goalies each recorded a shut out). The Wild won at home 5-0 and took the second game in Denver 3-0.

Darcy Kuemper is the youngest goalie in the NHL to open the season with back-to-back shut outs at 24-years-old. 

#3 Minnesota advancing to Frozen Four Championship game with .6 seconds left in the game

One of the biggest (if not the biggest) rivalry in college hockey continued in April when the University of Minnesota met up with the University of North Dakota in the semi-finals of the 2014 Men’s Frozen Four in Philadelphia.

This game was tied up at 1 a piece until senior Justin Holl scored a short-handed goal (and his first of the season) with 0:00.6 left in the game. (Watch the play here). Minnesota went on to face Union in the championship game. 

Gophers' Seth Ambroz reacting to Justin Holl's goal 

#2 T.J Oshie securing Team USA’s win against Russia in the Sochi Olympics in the shootout

“You at some point, we’re going to end up in a shootout and we’re going to want T.J. Oshie” Team USA General Manager David Polle (, February 16, 2014).

Well, that some point came when Team USA’s game against Russia.

T.J. Oshie scored four times in the shootout to give Team USA a 3-2 victory over the Russians. (Watch the entire shootout here)

T.J. Oshie scoring one of his four goals in the shootout. (photo courtesy of 

#1 Nino’s overtime series winner against Colorado in the first round of the playoffs

Back in 2003, the Minnesota Wild knocked the Colorado Avalanche out of the playoffs with an overtime goal scored by Andrew Brunette. That was the last playoff game Patrick Roy played in, because he announced his retirement as a player shortly after that.

Flash-forward to 2014. The Minnesota Wild and the Colorado Avalanche have a game 7 in their play-off series in Denver...and overtime. 

The Wild were down 4-3 when Jared Spurgeon scored with a sniper shot with 2:27 left in the third to tie the game up at 4 a side. Then Nino struck with 5:02 in overtime with a nasty wrister to eliminate the Colorado Avalanche from the play offs. (Watch it here). 

Patrick Roy lost his first play off series as a the Minnesota Wild.

Nino scoring his OT series winning goal 

The Wild are the first team in NHL history to win a game 7 in overtime after scoring four game-tying goals. 

These plays were chosen by me. 

Here's to 2015 and more great hockey in the new year! 

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