Meeting your hockey heroes isn’t something that happens every day.
So you can imagine the shock and excitement of local youth hockey player Cohen Johnson when he was given hockey tickets for his birthday to see the Winnipeg Jets take on the visiting Vegas Golden Knights back on Jan. 15.
Things became even more exciting for the Stratton-based goalie when he was invited to watch the morning skate on the day of the game.
Johnson’s favourite player is Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and he was able to meet him there.
“I got to meet all the players of the Vegas Golden Knights,” he noted.
“Fleury even gave me his glove to hold and try on, and asked if it was anything like mine.”
Johnson also was able to meet the Golden Knights’ coaching staff and athletic trainers at the morning skate, but the 13-year-old admitted it was hard to remember the exact conversations he had because everything was so exciting and happening so fast.
“They all said ‘Happy Birthday’ to me and signed my jersey, and they talked about the players and who their favourite players are and where I was from,” he recalled.
“[Also] the upcoming game and stuff.
“All of the Knights’ players spent time to stop and say ‘Happy Birthday,’ and to take a photo with me and sign my jersey,” the teen enthused.
“The Jets were almost the same to my little brother, Rhyse Faykes,” Johnson added.
“They played a little with him, poking him with their stick and listening to all the advice my brother had to give them.”
After the morning skate, Johnson and his family went back to the hotel, where they were able to see to see the players again.
Fleury made his way over to Johnson again to get another picture with him without his gear on.
“After the game, which was a very intense game, some people from the NHL were at the hotel restaurant and called me and my brother over and gave us official game pucks from the game,” Johnson added.
The Jets went on to win the game by a 4-1 final.
Fleury made 23 saves on 25 shots in taking the loss.