Video of Detroit Lakes hockey player's goal gets national attention
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - Goaltenders already had Alex Mason's normal breakaway shot figured out. So the Detroit Lakes boys hockey player wanted to try something different.
What Mason did has turned him into a YouTube sensation.
Mason, 18, in a game last Friday used his backhand to lift the puck going left to right before throwing the puck over the goalie's shoulder for what many are dubbing as the "goal of the year."
"I didn't even think," Mason said about the goal. "I saw an opening and how much space I had. I've done it so much in practice, it felt natural."
Mason and Detroit Lakes were shorthanded but had a 4-1 lead over Bagley-Fosston. He wrestled the puck away from a Flyers defenseman, slipped the puck past one more defenseman before scoring.
The video was posted on YouTube and it immediately gained national attention -featured on multiple blogs and websites including the Washington Post.
As of early Wednesday afternoon, the video has been watched 674,088 times.
"Me and my friends, we check YouTube a lot," Mason said with a giant smile. "I am surprised by how many people have watched it."
Lakers coach Chris Denardo said he was surprised Mason pulled the move off in a game. But he wasn't surprised Mason could do something like that with a puck.
"Alex came into the year as our lead guy," said Denardo, who is in his fourth year at Detroit Lakes. "He had 60 points last year so it wasn't like this was magic."
Mason has been one of the Lakers better players since he was a sophomore. As a junior, he helped the Lakers overcome the loss of NHL Draft pick, Tanner Lane, to finish 16-10-1.
This year, Mason has 37 points in 24 games and has scored 16 points in the last five games. His recent play has helped Detroit Lakes win four of its five last games, which could help with the playoffs around the corner.
"The attention he's been getting is great," Denardo said. "But you want him to also get attention for the way he plays hockey and the kind of player he is."
Mason said he plans on playing junior hockey next season and hopes it leads to him playing in college.
"I'd go wherever," Mason said. "I'll go to any place that wants to give me a chance."