Zac Boyer's Hat Trick
Zac Boyer has some NHL experience. He played a few games with the Dallas Stars a couple of years ago. Presently however he plays in the West Coast Hockey League, a media Siberia.
But the games are still played and the city of Colorado Springs is behind their Gold Kings for the hockey months. Zac made his own story on December 3, 2000.
In the first period, Boyer netted a shorthanded goal, the first for the Gold Kings in the 2000/2001, to put the team on top 1-0. The Gold Kings held the lead into the first intermission.
With a period of hockey under his belt, Boyer hung around the ice for about five minutes of the intermission. Why? A youngster with cancer was being honored at center ice. Boyer, who is involved in the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, came out and said a few words to the youth and I believe gave him an autographed Gold Kings jersey. In a show of solidarity, there was about 30 adults on the ice with freshly-shaved heads. The PA announcer said the youth lives by the motto: "When you are as pretty as us, you don't need hair as a crutch."
You have to wonder if the little man said something to Boyer to inspire him. He wouldn't light a candle that night, but he would do the next best thing: He set the opposition's net on fire.
Tacoma would tie the game with less than two minutes gone in the second period. Boyer wouldn't allow that to stand. He received a beautiful outlet pass that lead to a breakaway just over a minute after Tacoma knotted the score at one. He moved in, made the goalie look foolish, and netted his second goal of the night.
Tacoma had the better team that night though. They would score another in the second to tie it again and one early in the third to take the lead.
Nevertheless, when you combine the inspiration displayed by the child in the first intermission with the obvious talent of Boyer and the rest of the Gold Kings, no lead is safe. With under five minutes remaining, Boyer scored the tying goal by carrying the puck and a Tacoma defender into the offensive zone and firing a shot past the Sabrecat goalie. About 20 hats, including mine, hit the ice.
The game would end in a tie. The shootout commenced. Down 3-1 in the shootout and needing a tally just to give the Gold King goalie Mark Cowan the chance to face a fifth shooter, Zac Boyer skated a circle and took the puck at center ice. He skated in, and with emphasis, put the puck top shelf. The tell-tale sign of a jumping water bottle on top of the net signaled the crowd to cheer Boyer's efforts.
Cowan made the save on the fifth Tacoma skater to give the Gold Kings a chance, but their fifth shooter missed and the Sabrecats won.
But the heroics of the Kings and Boyer to secure a deserved point went noticed by the crowd who applauded the team's efforts. Boyer was named first star of the game. Perhaps inside, he shared that honor with a certain young child he spent a few minutes of time with at center ice during the first intermission.