Matt Bergland paddles his way to hero status for the Thunder

Matt Bergland called it the canoe.”

After getting the winning goal in overtime in the Thunders 3-2 playoff win against Las Vegas on Friday, Bergland dropped to the seat off his pants and slid across the ice while motioning his stick.

Anyone who thought it looked like a guy paddling up stream was correct.

“I just got caught up in the moment, a little excited,” Bergland said. “I’m from (Faribault) Minnesota, I pulled out an old one. I call it the canoe.”

He certainly saved his team from being in deep water with what has to go down as the most dramatic comeback in Thunder playoff history.

Let’s be clear: Stockton got away with one. It didn’t play particularly well much of the game, and trailed 2-0 with 17 minutes to play in regulation. But the Thunder didn’t panic and got back into the game when Harrison Reed scored on a tip of Tony DeHart’s shot and Shawn Boutin picked a great time to score for the first time all season. Then Bergland finished a stunned Las Vegas squad.

The Thunder have the lead in the series 1-0, but it will have to pass better and play a more complete game against a veteran Las Vegas team which won’t fold despite a tough loss.

“Those types of games give us confidence, and we probably needed it because we didn’t play our best game,” Thunder coach Matt Thomas said. “If anything, I think it’s going to motivate them. But it should motivate us, too. We let a team come in here and dictate the pace for too much of that game, so we’ve got to be a lot better.”

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  • Blog Author

    Scott Linesburgh

    Linesburgh has been a member of The Record's sports department since 1988. A native of Wantagh, N.Y., he covers the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League, and has spent more than a quarter century reporting various other sports on the high ... Read Full
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