If we gave you 60 minutes and all the pencils in the world, you couldn’t draw it up any better. You’d need extra time.
Cody Ceci, a teenager who grew up just 30 minutes from Canadian Tire Centre, picked the perfect time to score his first National Hockey League goal.
Overtime. At home. Against one of the league’s toughest opponents. When the Sens needed a win as badly as a three-year-old boy believes he needs another Thomas the Train character.
The 19-year-old defenceman played his junior hockey with the Ottawa 67′s, and solidified his hometown hero status Monday night when he gobbled up a Blues clearing attempt and wristed the OT winner past former Senator Brian Elliot.
“I had probably a better opportunity right before that with a slapshot with a pretty open look but it didn’t go as high up as I wanted it to,” Ceci told reporters after just his third big-league game. “Next thing I know, I get the puck at the blue line and there’s a lot of traffic crossing in front of the goalie. I just kind of floated it through and it found the net. I’ll definitely remember this.
“It’s a special moment, it couldn’t have happened at a better time, and I’m really happy things worked out the way they did.”
Ceci became the first player in franchise history to score his first career goal in overtime, according to Elias Sports Bureau. And Ceci’s first trumped that of the other 2012 first-round Ontario team draft pick, fellow D-man Morgan Rielly, who popped his NHL cherry-red goal light Monday night as well.
The klid has a flair for the dramatic: Ceci’s other two gaols scored this season, with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators, were both overtime winners as well.