Feb 14, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Colorado Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk (23) is congratulated by teammates after scoring during the shootout against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The Avalanche defeated the Wild 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Avalanche Throwback Thursday - Hejduk Goes Swimming

In this edition of Colorado Avalanche Throwback Thursday, we look back at Milan Hejduk‘s awkward game-winning goal celebration.

The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Dallas Stars in a regular season game on March 26, 2000. The game was important from a standings perspective as the Avalanche and Stars were battling for home ice advantage in the playoffs, but both teams had already solidified themselves as Stanley Cup contenders.

Tied at 1 and going into overtime, it had been an evenly matched game through 60 minutes. With just under two minutes remaining in the game, Milan Hejduk sped through the neutral zone, crossed the opponent blueline near the boards, cut into the middle, and released a beautiful snap shot on goal. The puck went past Stars goalie Ed Belfour, rang off the post, and found the puck of the net to give the Avs a 2-1 victory.

What followed is the story, though.

Hejduk glided along the boards, did a weird chicken dance, then dove onto the ice and pretended to swim along the ice.

When asked about the celebration later, Hejduk said, “I don’t know, it was nothing that I really planned. I scored an overtime goal and started swimming out of pure joy and happiness. It was just a reaction. It might happen again, you never know, but I never plan anything like that.” 

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