The ’12 Days of Christmas’ is a classic holiday song first published in its current form in 1908. In a nod to the classic carol, join The Hockey Writers as we count down the 12 Days of Hockeymas. Each day, we will provide you with a piece of hockey history as we eagerly await the start of the 2020-21 NHL season.
Talk about a one-two punch.
25 years ago, the Winnipeg Jets’ Deron Quint tied an NHL record by scoring two goals in the span of just four seconds.
It All Started On the Power Play
The date was Dec. 15, 1995 — midway through the Jets’ final season prior to relocation — and the site was Winnipeg Arena.
The Jets, leading the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 in the second period, were on the power play as David Oliver had been sent off for interference at 5:56.
Enter 19-year-old defenseman Deron Quint, who had one goal on the season to that point. Quint, skating in his rookie season after being drafted in the second round (30th overall) of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, took a pass from Dallas Drake and fired a quick wrist shot from the blue line.
The puck deflected off the Oilers’ forward Scott Thornton and went past the glove side of goalie Joaquin Gage.
Gage was incensed, claiming another Jets’ rookie, Shane Doan, was in his crease. However, the goal stood to double the Jets’ lead.
A Fortuitous Bounce Leads to a Record
It was after that things got a little crazy.
Alexei Zhamnov won the ensuing face-off to Quint on the right side. Gaining centre ice, he banked the puck off the glass, just intending to get it deep.
Instead, the puck took a sharp bounce right toward the net — a net that was wide open as Gage had vacated it, expecting to play the puck behind the cage. Two goals, four seconds.
Quoted in the gamer in the Winnipeg Free Press the following day, Quint said “we practice here every day and I know the glass is shaky and it can take odd bounces. The coach has been saying to get it deep all year. That first one hit a couple of things on the way to the net. I got to watch it go from here to here to here. They were lucky goals and I was fortunate they went in the net.”From ‘Shootout tramples streak; Jets romp past Oilers in nine-goal blitzkrieg,’ Winnipeg Free Press, Dec. 16, 1995.
Lucky goals they certainly were, but notable nonetheless; it was only the second time in NHL history a player had scored two goals in that short of a timespan. The first and only time it had been done prior was on Jan. 3, 1931, when the Montreal Maroons’ Nels Stewart did it against the Boston Bruins.
Quint’s Feat Somewhat Overshadowed
The floodgates opened from there. By the end of the second, the Jets were up 6-4, and in the third, they scored three more to capture a 9-4 victory.
While the Free Press gamer led with a recap of Quint’s feat, most of the article focused on some guy named Teemu Selanne, who happened to score four goals that night.
It was Selanne’s eighth-career hat trick but his first one in nearly two years; with the four-goal performance he also snapped a rare seven-game goalless drought.
Related: Winnipeg Jets’ 50-Goal Scorers
Quint NHL Career Up and Down, but His Record Still Stands
Quint finished the campaign with five goals and 13 assists for 18 points but his NHL career was up and down and hampered by injuries. Over 10 seasons, he played a total of 463 games for the Phoenix Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, and New York Islanders in addition to the Jets. His final NHL foray was five games with the Islanders in 2006-07.
Quint found success overseas, however, in both the Deutsche Eishockey League and the KHL. He captained the DEL’s Eisbaren Berlin and led the Polar Bears to three championships, in 2005-06, 2007-08, and 2008-09.
He was also fixture in the KHL between 2009 and 2016, playing for four different teams, including five seasons for Chelyabinsk Traktor. He wrapped up his professional career at age 41 with the DEL’s Red Bull Munchen.
As for the record Quint co-holds with Stewart, it still stands to this day. The player who’s come the closest to tying it is Nathan Gerbe, who scored two goals in five seconds on Jan. 21, 2011 against the Islanders, while a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
Five other players have scored two goals in less than ten seconds since Quint did:
- Martin Straka of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 11, 2000 (two goals in seven seconds)
- Viktor Kozlov of the Florida Panthers on Feb. 10, 2004 (two goals in eight seconds)
- Taylor Hall of the Oilers on Oct. 17, 2013 (two goals in eight seconds)
- Martin Hanzal of the Arizona Coyotes on Nov. 14, 2014 (two goals in nine seconds)
- Radek Faksa of the Dallas Stars on Nov. 28, 2017 (two goals in eight seconds.)