Solid postseason could make Horvat a high pick

Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 6:45 PM
By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / CBJ Today


TORONTO -- Every kid who ever picked up a hockey stick at some point pretended to be the player to score the championship goal at the buzzer.

London Knights forward Bo Horvat, No. 15 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, got the rare opportunity to live the dream in Game 7 of the Ontario Hockey League finals.

With the Knights and Barrie Colts tied in the waning seconds of regulation, Horvat banged in a bouncing cross-ice pass just as the final buzzer sounded.

"Griff [Seth Griffith] made a nice play to dump it in and get it in deep," Horvat told NHL.com, reliving the moment. "I think there was five seconds left when he did that. It came around to [Alex] Broadhurst and he got along the wall and just fired it out front as fast as he could. Fortunately it made a couple bounces and came right to me and all I had to do was put it in."

Referees initially ruled the goal came after time had expired, but instant replay was needed to see just when the puck went in.

"That was probably the most nerve-wracking, however-long-it-took of my life," Horvat said. "Just the suspense. I thought for sure it was in, but I wasn't quite sure. The suspense and waiting for it was pretty nerve-wracking."

After a lengthy review, it was ruled the puck had crossed the goal line with 0.1 seconds left. The goal counted and the Knights were OHL champions for a second straight year.

Horvat said the suspense immediately turned to jubilation.

"It was a mixture of relief, excitement," he said. "Knowing there was that much time on the clock and they really couldn't come back from that. Knowing that we won it was something special. They didn't bother dropping the puck. We just all went nuts and piled on our goalie.

"You dream about those moments as a kid. You want to be that guy to score that big goal. Fortunately I had the lucky bounces enough to be that guy and it's something I'll never forget."

The goal was Horvat's league-high 16th of the playoffs (in 21 games) and propelled the Knights to the Memorial Cup for a second straight season. He had two goals and three assists as the Knights lost in the tournament semifinals. However, he said the experience of playing against elite players -- among them fellow top prospects Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks and Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads -- provided a good barometer for where his game is, and where it needs to be moving forward.

"It was obviously a great experience to see the other talents from around the [Canadian Hockey] League," Horvat said. "Drouin and MacKinnon and those other high-end players are special players and tough to play against. For me to have the opportunity to go out there and to play against them, I thought it was a really great experience. … [It] gave me a measuring stick to know where I think I should be and where I match up against those guys. Just keep pushing yourself to get even better."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 2 2 1 0 3
M. Calvert 2 2 0 3 2
R. Johansen 2 1 1 -1 2
B. Dubinsky 2 0 2 0 2
D. Savard 2 0 2 1 2
B. Jenner 2 0 2 -1 2
D. MacKenzie 2 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 2 1 0 1 1
A. Anisimov 2 0 1 -1 1
C. Atkinson 2 0 1 1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 1 1 0 .905 3.00
 
Columbusbluejackets.com is the official Web site of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Columbus Blue Jackets and columbusbluejackets.com are trademarks of The Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club.  NHL and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the NHL Shield and NHL Conference logos are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P.  Copyright © 2009 Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club and the National Hockey League.  All Rights Reserved. View the Columbus Blue Jackets Privacy Policy AdChoices NHL.com Terms of Service
Please use the feedback form if you have any recommendations or comments.