Nilsson-Foppa-Jensen make history
The overhead photo of the goal, captured by IIHF photographer Andre Ringuette, is unbelievably similar to the one captured by Gary Hershorn of the goal that inspired Jensen to try the move in the first place.
Each team had scored once and Kaspars Daugavins had missed the third Latvian shot, so the circumstances were clear for Jensen: score and win the game, or miss and prolong the shootout.
“There’s a little bit of nerves going through your body there,” Jensen admitted after the game.
As he waited for the referee to blow his whistle, Jensen knew what he was going to do. “It’s a move that I’ve tried lots of times and that’s worked lots of times, so I thought I might as well try it.”
The move he tried is well known to hockey fans around the world for the 1994 Olympics when Sweden’s Peter Forsberg beat Canadian goalie Corey Hirsch with the deke and one-handed shot to win gold. It requires quick hands, quick skates, and unerring nerves. Make it work and it looks amazing; flub it, and it looks like a waste of a shot.
“I was hoping it would go in and it did, so it’s a great feeling,” an ebullient Jensen continued.
Indeed, Jensen knows that 1994 goal well and practised the move because of Forsberg.
“It’s a great move,” Jensen went on. “You try to pull the goalie to one side and put it in with one hand. Obviously, Forsberg created that move. He’s one of the players I grew up watching, and he was always one of my favourite players. It’s pretty cool when it works for you, too.”
Jensen admitted that he had decided to make this move as soon as coach Jan Karlsson called his name to participate in the shootout. What his teammates did against Merzlikins earlier in the shootout (one goal, one miss) was not a factor.
“If I had shot first, I think I would have done the same thing, but I do like to watch the goalie and see how he works with his feet. If it works, it works.”
Jensen is wrong about one thing. “Foppa” did not invent that move. He himself admitted he took it from countryman Kent Nilsson, who used it at the 1989 World Championship in Stockholm.
Ironically, after his historic goal in Lillehammer, Forsberg gave himself poor marks for artistic merit. “Today, I didn't really make it right,” he commented. “By the time I drew my stick back, I was too far to the left side of the net."
Everyone watching would have disagreed, and last night Jensen replicated the move with perfection.
Danish Post, are you listening?
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