NHL Star Johnny Gaudreau Dedicates Goal to His Grandfather Who Died Just One Day Before Game
The Calgary Flames player helped the team secure a 3-0 victory on Sunday with the meaningful goal
Johnny Gaudreau scored a goal over the weekend that was more than just a point for his team.
On Sunday, as his Calgary Flames took on the Florida Panthers, 26-year-old Gaudreau managed to score a goal early in the matchup, which resulted in a 3-0 win for the Canadian team. The goal carried extra meaning for the NHL player, however, since it came one day after a family tragedy.
After the Flames lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-4 on Saturday, Gaudreau was informed that his grandfather on his dad‘s side had died. The athlete said it was a “pretty emotional day.”
“It was kind of a tough day, but, you know, it was nice to find the net for him there in the first,” he told reporters after the match. “… It sucks losing people, but I was pretty pumped up to get that one for him.”
The Salem, New Jersey, native added that his grandfather was one of his biggest fans, always there to cheer him on at the rink.
“He watched a lot of my games and was always a big supporter of me and my brother playing hockey, so it was a special time to find the net there and … just emotional,” he said. “It was really cool.”
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According to USA Today, Gaudreau pumped his fists and smiled brightly after getting the point, which was the 150th goal of his career.
Gaudreau’s teammates showed support for the player after news of his family’s loss, also understanding that the goal likely is of unforgettable poignancy to him.
“We have a really tight-knit group in there,” captain Mark Giordano told the Calgary Sun. “You could see how crushed he was yesterday on the bus. You feel for him as a teammate. I like to look at him as a little brother, to be honest. We’ve been around each other for so long. So just try to give him support.
He added: “For him to show up and put that effort in, I thought he was great all night. I thought for him to come in and score, that’s really cool and something that I’m sure he’ll share with his family tonight.”