'This guy's disgusting': Wolverines' Johnson scores 'Michigan' goal at worlds

Detroit News
Wolverines forward Kent Johnson (13) celebrates his "Michigan" goal against Czechia during the first period of the IIHF world junior hockey championships game on Saturday in Edmonton, Alberta.

Wolverines forward Kent Johnson scored the "Michigan" goal in the first period of Canada's 5-1 victory against Czechia at the world junior hockey championships in Edmonton on Saturday afternoon.

Johnson, a first-round draft choice of the Columbus Blue Jackets, scooped up the puck in lacrosse-style behind the Czechia goal and scored the winner against goaltender Tomas Suchanek, who stopped 52-of-57 shots.

Canada teammate Brennan Othmann, a forward with the Flint Firebirds and a first-round pick of the New York Rangers, said he watched Johnson pull off the "Michigan" move in training camp and wasn't surprised Johnson tried the play in a game.

"I actually said to him the first day, 'John, I better see you pull this off this tournament,'" Othmann told iihf.com. "And he looked at me and said, 'Yeah, that's what the goal is.' So when he had it behind the goal, I looked over and I said, 'OK, that's it.' And then he did it. This guy's disgusting."

It wasn't the first time Johnson scored the "Michigan" goal, named after Michigan's Mike Legg who scored the lacrosse-style goal in 1996. Johnson was successful twice with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the British Columbia Hockey League.

Johnson added an assist in Saturday's victory, led the team with nine shots on goal and was plus-1. In three games for Canada (3-0), he has three goals with a plus-3 rating and his 17 shots are second only to 19 shots by Connor Bedard, the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

"Kent Johnson should be called Magic Johnson," TSN draft analyst Craig Button said during the broadcast. "Before he gets the puck, he knows what he wants to do and he did it. It was unbelievable. It's a common play now but it takes an uncommon player."

Also Saturday, Jackson native Carter Mazur scored two goals on his grandfather's 87th birthday in Team USA's 7-0 victory against Austria. After the game, Jackson, a third-round draft choice of the Detroit Red Wings, paid tribute to his grandfather, who served in the military and was in the stands at Rogers Place.

"First of all, he's done a lot for our country and he likes to do a lot of things in Jackson, Michigan, to help the community in anyway he can so I'm grateful for that," Mazur told usahockey.com. "Also, him coming out there. He had COVID last time so he couldn't come to the winter one (tournament) because it got cancelled but to have him here is pretty special, especially with his 87th birthday today."

Mazur is tied for second in tournament scoring with six points (four goals, two assists) and is plus-6 in three games. Canada's Mason McTavish is first in scoring with 10 points (six goals, four assists) and is plus-9 in three games.

Canada will face Finland on Sunday. The U.S. will play Sweden on Sunday.