Eberle's goal ranks among biggest

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

Paul Henderson may have scored the preeminent goal in Canadian hockey history.

Mario Lemieux's 1987 Canada Cup winner is a strong runner-up.

Now, there's a relatively new candidate for the next rung on the ladder.

Calgary product Jordan Eberle put his name right up there with Jonathan Toews (2007 world juniors) and Darryl Sittler (1976 Canada Cup) at the recent world junior championship.

The Regina Pats star scored the tying goal with just five seconds to go in regulation time against Russia in the semifinal.

It was a goal that sent the entire country into a frenzy.

But Eberle doesn't want to compare his goal to the other great tallies in this nation's history.

"I don't think you can," Eberle said.

"There's a lot of different situations and different times.

"Obviously, it's the biggest goal of my career. And to have it in your home country at the world juniors, it's pretty special."

Pats teammate Colten Teubert, who also suited up for Team Canada, had the best seat in the house to witness Eberle's goal.

"I was on the bench, cheering," the defenceman said. "It was a pretty cool moment.

"Just to be on the bench was enough for me."

The Los Angeles Kings first-round draft pick watched the dramatic U.S./Canada shootout in 2007, but said Eberle's goal was even better.

"I remember the shootout with Carey Price and Jonathan Toews," Tuebert said. "I remember watching that with my team in Regina. That was pretty cool, but nothing beats Jordan Eberle's."

The 5-foot-11, 184-pounder's heroics didn't start -- or end -- with the miraculous equalizer.

He scored earlier in the game and then added another in the decisive shootout.

But it's the other one -- the goal -- that will be remembered.

The affable Edmonton Oilers first-rounder said he was aware the clock was ticking down, but didn't realize how close he actually cut it.

"At the time, you're just thinking about keeping the team going," he said.

"You have to give a lot of guys credit. (Ryan) Ellis made a great play to keep it in and Johnny (Tavares) got the puck to the net.

"I was just the lucky one to put it in."

After a deke to the backhand and a quick glance at the clock to see if it would count, the celebration was on.

Eberle said he didn't know what to do with himself.

"It was a little bit shocking," he said. "To get that opportunity to be out there and put that goal in, it's pretty incredible.

"You don't realize how much time is on the clock. And then you look up and you're just shocked."

With his world junior memories tucked away, Eberle has turned his attention back to the Pats, who are fighting for their playoff lives.

Without Eberle and Teubert, Regina struggled to a 1-7-0-1 record. Since their stars returned, the Pats had gone 3-3-0-1 heading into last night's game in Cranbrook.

"We had a lot of guys gone, whether it was the world juniors or the under-17," said Eberle, who has 26 goals and 52 points in 40 games, of his club's Christmas swoon.

"So we didn't have a lot of guys who would have played on the powerplay, so it's tough on a team when something like that happens.

"But we've got everyone back now and we have to start putting up wins."

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THREE STARS

WEEK'S TOP PERFORMERS

1. D Keith Seabrook, Hitmen -- Three goals and eight points to help Calgary go 3-0.

2. G Dustin Tokarski, Chiefs -- Allowed three goals (.943 sv%) in two victories.

3. C Jay Fehr, Wheat Kings -- Had five goals and nine points to spark red-hot Wheaties.

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QUOTABLE

WHAT DID YOU SAY?

"We need him fully bought-in to what we're trying to do, both on-ice and through his leadership."

Regina Pats GM Brent Parker after Team Canada World Junior D Colten Teubert was a healthy scratch on the weekend

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GO FIGURE

PLAYIN' THE NUMBERS GAME

9

The number of combined powerplay goals scored by the Calgary Hitmen and Regina Pats Sunday afternoon at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

The Hitmen went 6-for-12 to set a franchise record for the most goals scored with the man advantage in one game, including five by defencemen.

The Pats were 3-for-8.

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RANKINGS

(VOTED ON WHL WRITERS' ASSOCIATION)

(Last week's ranking, first-place votes in brackets)

1. (1) Vcr Giants (10) 283

2. (2) Calgary Hitmen (3) 276

3. (3) Saskatoon Blades 258

4. (4) Tri-City Americans 238

5. (T5) Spokane Chiefs 237

6. (T5) Bra. Wheat Kings 229

7. (T12) Kelowna Rockets 199

8. (7) Med. Hat Tigers 197

9. (8) S.C. Broncos 179

10. (9) Leth. Hurricanes 175

11. (T12) Kootenay Ice 150

12. (11) Regina Pats 136

13. (10) Everett Silvertips 131

14. (14) Kam. Blazers 123

15. (15) Seattle T-Birds 105

16. (16) Edm. Oil Kings 93

17. (17) P. Albert Raiders 82

18. (18) P. George Cougars 63

19. (19) Red Deer Rebels 57

20. (20) Chilliwack Bruins 39

21. (21) M. Jaw Warriors 20

22. (22) P. Winter Hawks 19

A first-place vote is worth 22 points, a second-place vote is worth 21 points, on down to one point for a last-place vote.


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