WATCH: Hamilton hockey star Sarah Nurse nets ‘Forsberg goal’ at NHL all-star skills competition


Published February 4, 2023 at 7:04 am

Sarah Nurse of Hamilton earned the loudest cheers at FLA Live Arena by scoring on the reigning Vezina Trophy winner during the NHL all-star skills competition on Friday.

The Canada’s women’s hockey team star and Olympic gold medallist pulled off the breakaway move made popular by hall-of-fame centre Peter Forsberg to fool New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin during a goaltender shooting event called the “tendy tandem.” The move involves a left-shooting attacker feinting toward the goalie’s blocker side, then shifting to a one-handed backhand to tuck the puck into the net glove/stick side.

Nurse, who last year became the first woman to appear on the cover of an EA Sports NHL title with NHL 23, wore custom skates highlighting Black History month and the Black Girl Hockey Club, a nonprofit focused on getting more Black girls and women into the sport. After deking Shesterkin, she said it did not occur to her that he won the award last year presented to the top goalie in the NHL.

“I didn’t even think about it until afterwards,” Nurse said, according to the Associated Press. “I was just like attack the day. Seize the moment.”

The move came to widespread attention when Forsberg broke it out to score the decisive shootout tally for Sweden against Canada in the gold-medcal game at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. But the true progenitor was likely an earlier Swedish forward, Kent Nilsson. Five years prior, Nilsson used the move to deke John Vanbiesbrouck during a Sweden-United States game at the world chammpionship.

Along with Team Canada, Nurse is a board member and a player in the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA), which is aiming to create a full-time, fully salaried league and reduce gender inequities in the sport. The 28-year-old forward has also been paying it forward this winter through her work as as a program ambassador for the Canadian Olympic Committee’s talent search program, which is intended to help young people overcome barriers to becoming professional athletes. The program held a search event at McMaster University last weekend.

In April, Nurse will likely be part of defending gold medallist Canada when it hosts the International Ice Hockey Federation women’s championship in Brampton. The worlds are slated for April 5 to 16. Canada has won the last three major world tournaments, including the 2022 Beijing Olympics where Nurse set records for most points (18) and assists (13) in a tournament. The rival United States has come away with silver, silver, and bronze at those events.

Born in Burlington, Nurse is an alumna of the Stoney Creek Sabres youth hockey program. Ten years ago, she signalled her future stardom by setting a Provincial Women’s Hockey League record for most goals in a season with 36 in 35 games for the Sabres. She then went on to play for the U.S. college powerhouse Wisconsin Badgers.

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