Colorado Avalanche rookie Alexander Kerfoot had a fantastic game against the Blackhawks when he scored two goals to help eliminate them from playoff contention.
The Colorado Avalanche had a very good game against the Blackhawks in Chicago on March 20. They won that game 5-1. And, like I mentioned, it was in the Blackhawks home arena.
Forward Alexander Kerfoot also had a great game — he scored two goals. Interestingly, that wasn’t the only multi-goal game the rookie had. He also scored twice against the St. Louis Blues on October 19 and again against the New York Islanders on November 5.
Read about the Blues game here:
The two goals that came against the Chicago Blackhawks, though, marked the end of a lengthy goal-scoring and even points drought for Kerfoot. He hadn’t earned a point in 12 games, an assist against the Edmonton Oilers. He hadn’t scored a goal since the previous Edmonton game, which marked 14 games without a goal.
A couple of things about that. One is that Kerfoot was heading down the home stretch of what would be a 79-game year. As a college player, he’d never played more than 36 in a season.
The other is a little weird — he was also heading down the home stretch of number of games previous Harvard grad Steve Moore made before a Todd Bertuzzi hit ended his career. I know it’s just a coincidence, but the Detroit Red Wings game marked Alexander’s 69th game, which was the amount Moore played in. And there was a Bertuzzi on the ice for the Red Wings.
And them Kerfoot’s slump broke in the next game. Like I said, really weird coincidence.
Anyway, on to the goals themselves. The first comes early in the second period. The Avalanche are down by one goal — defenseman Brent Seabrook has recorded the only tally the Hawks would get in the game. Colorado is on the power play thanks to former Av Andreas Martinsen slashing J.T. Compher.
The Colorado Avalanche are in the Blackhawks zone. Defenseman Sam Girard, who’s quarterbacking the power play, fakes a shot then gets the puck to Kerfoot in the slot. Kerfoot overcomes his natural passing tendency and flicks a wrist shot that goalie Anton Forsberg stops:
As you can see, Kerfoot corrals the rebound and rips another wrist shot — this one beating Forsberg top-shelf. What I love about this goal — besides Kerfoot scoring it from his knee, which always looks cool — is that he doesn’t give up on the play. He takes not one but two shots in this sequence, and he’s rewarded with a goal, the slump-busting goal.
His little fist pump at the end tells you he’s relieved.
Alexander Kerfoot brackets the Avalanche’s scoring in this game — he opens and closes it. His second goal comes late in the third. The Avs are up 4-1 with just a minute left.
This time, the play starts in the Avalanche end. Gabriel Bourque collects the puck from David Warsofsky. Bourque drives up the ice on the far side with Kerfoot flying parallel. Once in the Blackhawks zone, Bourque threads the pass past a Chicago block attempt. Kerfoot collects the puck, settles it, and fires a wrist shot:
The puck flies over Forsberg, putting the Avalanche up 5-1 with less than a minute left in the game. That goals seals the deal for Colorado’s victory.
Oh, by the way, that game also eliminated the Blackhawks from playoff contention. Icing on the cake.
The Colorado Avalanche will get five more cracks at the Blackhawks this upcoming season:
- Dec. 21, 2018, at Colorado
- Dec. 29, 2018, at Colorado
- Feb. 22, 2019, at Chicago
- March 23, 2019, at Colorado
- March 24, 2019, at Chicago
Back-to-back home and away games right when both teams might be in a playoff hunt — exciting. Hopefully Colorado prevails as well in those games as they did in the four this season.