It actually went in off his leg, but nobody has to know that from the score sheet. Short side, bottle knocker? Go with that. Deke between three guys, through the 5-hole on the backhand? Sure, why not?
However it went in, Alexander Kerfoot was just glad it did. The Ivy Leaguer, in his first game on home ice in his Colorado Avalanche career, scored his first NHL marker eight minutes, 19 seconds into what finished a 6-3 Avs victory over Boston. It was just the latest feelgood moment to a four-game career that’s had plenty already.
He played his first game at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, getting a point in the Avs’ win – with his parents in the stands watching. His second game, he played against the team that drafted him, the New Jersey Devils. The third game was played in the city in which he spent four years, as a player with Harvard.
And in game four, the night finished with him holding the puck from that first goal, smiling for the cameras.
Not bad, overall.
“I really couldn’t have asked for a better four games to start my career,” Kerfoot said. “We’re 3-1 right now, it’s a great start to the year and we just want to keep it going.”
Kerfoot got his right skate on Tyson Barrie’s shot from the point, deflecting it past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. While that would be it for him on the score sheet, he played 13:56, finishing plus-1 with one shot on net. He did some nice little things with the puck, such as getting it out of the zone under pressure and creating some space for linemates Matt Duchene and Nail Yakupov.
Worries about Kerfoot’s size (5-foot-10, about 175 pounds) so far have been unfounded. Jared Bednar, in fact, said after the game that he has started to earn the “trust” of the coaching staff.
“We put him in the top six to see what he can do. His speed, you don’t always see him going 100 miles an hour out there, but he’s a tenacious guy and the puck follows him around a little bit,” Bednar said. “He’s starting to use his speed and elusiveness to make plays. He’s not scared to go to the hard areas to score and create plays. There’s a lot to like.”
Kerfoot now has two points on the season. Originally, he was awarded an assist on Yakupov’s open-net goal in Boston Monday, but it was taken away and given to Duchene.
Kerfoot remembers well his first college goal, for Harvard against R.P.I. But this one will be a bit more memorable.
It was a scary moment for Tyson Jost at 11:53 of the second period, as he appeared to suffer a serious left leg injury after being cross-checked by Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid along the boards. Jost needed help off the ice went straight to the dressing room.
But a few minutes later, there he was, skating his regular shift.
“Obviously, it was scary. I went in really awkward,” Jost said. “It’s never fun when you get in that situation, but I was more stunned than anything. A lot of weird things happened to my leg, and a lot of bad things flashed through my mind. But, luckily I’m OK.”