Youth goalie Marc Chenault is only 11 years-old, but many scouts who have seen him play believe he could play in the NHL right now. Currently starring in junior hockey in Quebec, Chenault is 102-0-2 in his junior career with a 0.12 goals against average.
He has an uncanny combination of athleticism, flexibility, hand-eye coordination and competitiveness. But those aren't the biggest keys to the boy's success.
He was also born without a five-hole.
Yes, Chenault came into the world in 2000 as a special needs child. Born with a webbed crotch, many thought he would never live a normal life. But then one day, at age 6, he went to a local rink in the Montreal suburb of Boucherville … and the rest is history.
"He struggled to skate, what with the webbed crotch," said Chenault's father, Rene, whose family carries the rare webbed crotch gene. "It's hard to take long strides. But then he went into the goal and it was magic."
With a lower body that is shaped like a dust pan pressed against the ice, it is literally impossible to score low on the 11 year-old. All that's left is upper half of the net, which Chenault defends as well or better than any goalie his age.
Some coaches in the league have complained about the boy's webbed crotch advantage, but Chenault says he is no freak.
"I work hard at playing goalie. And who says I'm weird for having a webbed crotch," he said, putting on his MC Hammer-style pants after a game. "Maybe they're the weird ones for having split legs."
Chenault is regarded as the most dominant junior hockey goalie since the 1950s when Bobby Randall of the Ontario league went unscored upon for two years due to his huge, rectangular back tumor. Unfortunately, the malignant tumor eventually killed him.