By Keith McShea
This next item happened in Minnesota, not New York (and thank goodness, many here might say).
But it has to be seen to be believed.
A high school hockey goalie purposely scored on his own team by tucking the puck into his own goal, then fired what appears to be a single-fingered salute to his own bench before leaving the ice.
The incident blew up on Twitter with this summary of the event reaching more than 1,000 retweets in the hours after the game.
Minnesota HS HOCKEY: A goaltender scored on his own team tonight, on purpose, flipped off his team's coaching staff, & left. #sportsmanship— FollowThePuck (@FollowThePuck) February 13, 2013
This incident is absolutely unbelievable and it is basically the absolute opposite of what -- cliche alert -- high school sports should be all about. According to the @FollowThePuck timeline, apparently the goalie, who is a senior, planned this whatever-you-want-to-call-it because of issues involving playing time.
And it was planned right down to the best -- make that worst -- part of the game to do it. The "own goal" tied the game at 2-2 late in the third period, and the goalie's team, Farmington, lost to Chaska, 3-2, on a goal scored soon after.
It is incredible to think of something like this happening in Minnesota, which is to high school hockey what Texas, Ohio and Florida are to high school football.
The @FollowThePuck timeline has additional details and retweets from those around the team, including a team manager who tweeted that the move was planned and that a friend of the goalie opened the door for him so he could easily leave the ice. On the video you can see fans cheering -- they weren't exactly stunned -- so it appears that perhaps they were anticipating this part of the game. Also, the fact that there is video of this specific event (a goalie handling the puck behind the goal is worth recording?) seems suspicious as well. It's not like this was coaches' game film from the center of the ice.
What it all points to is an individual's concerted attempt (with help from others) to embarrass his coaches, which also embarrasses his team, his school, his town, his state, and as this thing keeps going viral, his country. Of course, no one should be more embarrassed than the goalie. And he'll be embarrassed for a long time. This was a massive error in judgement and something that will follow him.
Final note on said goalie: I haven't used the goalie's name. I commend the @FollowThePuck feed for not doing so as well. This student made an utterly stupefying mistake, but this is high school kid, and ultimately this is high school sports. While I can understand there is obviously an accountability issue here, I don't think naming him is necessary.
Looks like Lauren Mariacher and I will have something mind-boggling to talk about during PrepTalkTV Weekly tonight at 9, which, as always, is followed by our live chat.