Mercer owns up to embarrassing own goal

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

Talk about getting a little goal-happy.

The Calgary Hitmen were so excited to be scoring again, they didn't care whose net they were filling.

OK, that's pushing it a little.

But at least the Hitmen can afford to laugh off what could have been a disasterous goal at the end of the second period last night.

"Reluctantly," said a red-faced Dan Mercer, who got his wires crossed with goaltender Dan Spence on a play that gave the Medicine Hat Tigers their first goal with 4.6 seconds left in the period.

Spence, who made 24 saves in the 4-2 win, had stopped the puck behind his net and was waiting for the clock to run out when he saw the red light flashing.

"Yeah, laugh now," Spence said. "Geez. It happens but it's not something you want to have happen very often."

The goal was reminiscent of ex-Olier Steve Smith's bankshot off goaltender Grant Fuhr which eliminated Edmonton from the playoffs in 1986.

Mercer, who said he's never heard of Smith, said it all happened quickly.

"Their guy was coming quick behind the net so I thought I'd get out quick and I put the puck ahead of me," Mercer said.

"It was a weird bounce. It got caught in his skate, he wheeled around with it and the next thing I know, it's in the back of the net.

"Fortunately, it didn't cost us the game."

At the time, the bizarre goal, credited to Flames pick Gord Baldwin, threatened to give the dormant Tigers a lift.

But the Hitmen settled down and played a solid third period to get back in the series.

"Everybody makes little mistakes every now and again," Spence said.

"But we scored and made up for it.

"It was nice to get a few goals tonight and have a cushion."


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