Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano had a good rookie campaign with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters, but the highlight of his season has to be his backhanded spin-o-rama goal against the Grand Rapids Griffins in Game 4 Tuesday.
Blue Jackets fans may not have a vested interest in what happens during the NHL post-season, but down in the AHL, Columbus’ AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, are looking like a team to keep an eye on. Especially if 19-year-old top prospect Sonny Milano is going to keep putting up highlight-reel goal.
The Monsters entered Game 4 of their second-round series against the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Detroit Red Wings’ affiliate, leading 3-0 with a chance to complete the sweep, and while a three-goal third frame from the Griffins stopped the Monsters from sending home their divisional rivals in four games, it was a Lake Erie goal that stood out most about the game.
With the score knotted at one in the first period, Milano took a pass while crossing into the Grand Rapids zone and went to work. Breaking in on Griffins defenseman Xavier Ouellet, who spent a handful of games with the Red Wings this season, Milano opened up his body as if to show pass or shot before corralling the puck on his backhand, pulling off a perfect spin-o-rama and letting go a backhand in one motion. Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum was baffled and beaten by the shot:
We see you, Sonny ? pic.twitter.com/Jj2n01DlQh
— AHL (@TheAHL) May 10, 2016
McCollum knows he maybe — or probably — should have had that and his body language shows it, but Milano caught nearly everyone off guard. Who would have expected a 19-year-old rookie to try a spin-o-rama backhander in a playoff game? Not Ouellet or McCollum, that much is for sure.
The goal was Milano’s third of the post-season and his fifth point in seven games during Lake Erie’s Calder Cup run, and it’s the continuation of a good freshman campaign. In the regular season, Milano scored 14 goals and 31 points in 54 games, as well as picking up an assist in three NHL games. But if he continues to light the lamp in style, don’t be surprised to see him up in Columbus for more than three games next season.