Mike Smith's Six Second Launch into NHL History

Christian Petersen

A six second journey into the record books.

6.0...5.9...5.8...

A shot from Detroit Red Wings forward Mikael Samuelsson travels toward Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.

5.7...5.6...5.5...

An easy save for Smith, his 31st of the night.

5.4...5.3...5.2...5.1...5.0...

His eyes are focused up the ice -- an empty net 200 feet away.

4.9...4.8...4.7...4.6...

He drops the puck to the ice, the blue-ice in front of him.

4.5...4.4...4.3...

Goalie stick in the proper position, dropping to one knee, Smith launches the puck upward and outward.

4.2...4.1...4.0...3.9...3.8...3.7...

For what feels like an eternity, the one inch thick by three inch wide piece of vulcanized rubber soars above the ice at Jobing.com Arena. The game's fate has already been decided. Phoenix will walk away with a come from behind victory.

3.6...3.5...3.4...3.3...3.2...3.1...

As the puck makes its descent back to the playing surface, the tone in the arena begins to change. Slowly, the realization sweeps through the 14,624 fans: this puck is travelling right down the middle of the ice, right toward the open net.

3.0...2.9...2.8...2.7...2.6...2.5...

No way, not possible. Something like this has only happened 13 times in NHL history. Most of those occasions, the goalies were awarded such a feat instead of actually scoring.

2.4...2.3...2.2...2.1...2.0...

Smack! The puck collides with the ice surface once again. All eyes are on it as it clears all the eligible players on the ice.

1.9...1.8...1.7...1.6...1.5...

With the whole crowd at its mercy, the puck slowly rolls. It rolls and rolls before eventually flattening out past the top of the circles.

1.4...1.3...1.2...1.1...1.0...

It glides past the face-off dots, racing the clock -- a clock that determines if this moment is history or just a close encounter.

0.9...0.8...0.7...0.6...0.5...

Entering the blue paint, its journey becomes cyclical. Just seconds ago, the puck began in the opposite goalie crease. Now, history is just inches away, fractions of a second away.

0.4...0.3...0.2...

So close, yet so little time. Blue paint surrounds the puck with the red line in sight.

0.1...

It's in! The puck is in! History is made!

0.0

The Coyotes mob their goaltender, joy across each player's face. The crowd in Glendale roars with excitement. They are witnesses to history. Smith became the first goalie in Coyotes/Jets franchise history to score a goal and only the 11th all-time. Of those 11, he is one of six goalies to score with an actual shot on goal.

"The clock has to slow down at the right time for it to trickle over the (goal) line," Smith said.

Smith is awarded the No. 1 star of the game, an accomplishment that allows him to take a curtain call and skate in front of the crowd.

Smith walks down the long hallway from the bench to the locker room as the echo of the crowd begins to fade away. He sits down in his locker. The goaltender is awarded with the team's custom WWE championship belt given each game to the team's MVP.

At his locker is one of his young sons. Before the swarm of media arrives at his locker to ask him about this historic event, his son gets the first answer.

"Daddy scored a goal," Smith says with much glee.

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