The U11AA Trappers captured the NOHA Tournament of Champions defeating the Nickel City Sons and Soo Greyhounds in the semifinals and finals respectively on Sunday.
However, one particular goal stood out on the Trappers journey to an NOHA championship, as Sawyer Gedanitz, one of the young stars on the up-and-coming Trappers squad netted a "Michigan" goal on the bewildered Nickel City netminder in a 12-7 semifinal Trappers win Sunday morning at West Ferris arena in North Bay.
”I felt dizzy like a big rush came over me, there was something about this goal that was different, I have scored many goals but none that have given me that rush before," said Sawyer, who turned 11 earlier this month.
"It was a really cool feeling."
However, Gedanitz was humble about his goal; giving credit to the young goalie he scored on.
“I came in on Leclaire and fired a shot that was blocked by his defenceman," Gedanitz, whose favourite player is Mitch Marner, explained.
"The opportunity came when I was able to get my rebound and had some space behind the net, so I gave it a go. I can do it in practice, but when you have a team like the Sons and Carter as their goalie it’s a different situation, It just worked out in my favour he’s a really great goalie.”
The lacrosse-style goal got its origin back 27 years ago when University of Michigan forward Mike Legg scored in an NCAA game leading the way for the nickname "The Michigan."
In 2023, NHLers like Trevor Zegras and Kent Johnson are scoring unique goals at the highest level.
However, they are pros; Sawyer is only 11 and he's a defenceman.
Zach Bratina is a former North Bay Battalion star who is a local hockey development coach who trains Gedanitz.
"Sawyer possesses a rare combination of exceptional talent, work ethic, and maturity that sets him apart from many of his peers," said Bratina.
"On the ice, Sawyer demonstrates a level of skill and athleticism that is beyond his years. He moves effortlessly, with top-end speed and agility. His ability to read the game and make split-second decisions is uncanny."
Bratina says Gedanitz shows an incredible understanding of the game itself.
"Off the ice, he is equally impressive.Sawyer is a rare talent, blessed with abilities that far exceed his years," he said.
"He is a joy to watch on the ice and a role model off it. I can’t wait to see him continue to grow and develop."
See the goal here courtesy Brian Belfitt: