Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! … the irony.
In 2017, Jordan Eberle was a member of Edmonton Oilers, scoring no goals in the play-off in 13 games. Tuesday night, back in Edmonton, but as a member of the New York Islanders, he kept his current team’s Stanley Cup dreams alive with a 2–1 winner in double overtime.
“The boys fought hard tonight,” said Eberle after the match. “It is clear that recording that, keeping moving and giving ourselves another chance in a couple of days is huge.”
The Islanders entered the fifth game of the Eastern Conference Finals against Tampa Bay Hadidi 3-1 in a Best of Seven series. Ryan Pollock’s Devensman broke the ice – and an 18-match goal drought – in the first period of tough play. In the middle frame, Victor Heidman hooked things up and then paused the recording.
Both teams were enthusiastic in third place, so the match headed for extra time. Then another. And he looked like he’s heading for a third to even less than eight minutes remaining in the period. From an encouraging shot by Lightning’s Kevin Shatenkirk, Anders Lee and Eberle rushed 2-on-1. Then Captain Isles rotated the pass to Eberle who buried it to keep his team alive.
Eberle has a knack for scoring big goals on Canadian soil.
In 2009 at the IIHF World Junior Championships in Ottawa, he scored a “goal” against Russia 5.4 seconds before the end of the match in the standings to equal the semi-final match. Canada eventually won a penalty shootout – where he also scored – then won the gold-medal match against the Swedes.
The following year, in his hometown of Regina, Sask, Canada trailed 5-3 in the gold-medal match to the United States three minutes before the end. He scored twice in the 2:49 final to tie things up, but the Americans would continue to win in overtime.
“She’s the biggest in a long time for sure,” said Eberle, laughing with a big smile. “First, you should have the opportunity to do that. This team has fought hard to get where we are and we’re not done.”
“I think it’s just his behavior,” said coach Barry Trutz of Eberle’s goals in the big matches. “He puts a lot of pressure on himself sometimes when he’s not scoring goals. He has a high level of expectations he puts on himself, but I think he enjoys the moments.”
Tuesday’s goal was only the sixth in post-season for Eberl, having scored 16 in the regular season. And while he may not have scored any playoff goals for the Oilers, he has scored 165 in 507 appearances for the Edmonton hometown team – and one of the most important goals of the Icelanders at Rogers Place, which, incidentally, goalkeeper Simon Varlamov celebrated in style.