All photos: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images
Washington Capitals forward Mikhail Grabovski scored a late game-winning goal in Belarus’s upset victory over Switzerland on Monday. The win substantially improved the chances that Grabovski and his teammates will make it out of the group stage at the World Championship. That’s huge for Belarus and its fans, and it explains why Grabovski celebrated like he had just won the Stanley Cup after scoring on the breakaway.
During four-on-four play with a little more than two minutes to go in the third period, Grabovski snuck up behind Swiss defenseman Eric Blum and took a long range pass from Sergei Kostitsyn. Grabo deked a few times and then snuck the puck past Reto Berra’s outstretched pad.
GIFs by Ian Oland
To celebrate, Grabo skated full speed to center ice, pumped his fist, and then made a beeline towards the Belarus bench. Grabovski chose this moment to make a suicide leap into his teammates’ arms at the bench.
After watching this GIF repeatedly, I’m not sure how he avoided breaking a bone or six.
With two points in the game (Grabovski also assisted on a goal by ex-NHLer Sergei Kostitsyn earlier in the third period), Grabo is in a ten-way tie for third place in points at the tournament (one goal and three assists).