The Day A Goalie Scored

By Chris Palmer, M.A. Founder,

I couldn’t believe it.

It was a game where everything was normal.

I mean our hockey team was getting destroyed like 13–1 and it was third period with like 6 minutes left.

Then out of nowhere I see something I’ve never seen before. I mean EVER.

Instead of being bummed out about being so far behind, the kids came up with the idea of having their goalie score.

I mean they are behind by 12 points and they spontaneously come up with the idea and ask the coach if it’s ok.

He said “absolutely.”

So the next face-off they get the puck to the goalie and off he goes down the ice, hoping to score, giant pads and all.

His teammates flank him on the way down. The cheering is incredible and parents in the stands are going nuts.

Everyone is smiling. When does that ever happen?!

And as he came closer to the goal, the other team spread out to make room.

The cheering was deafening, parents and kids just shooting off this joy I’ve never seen in a hockey game.

I mean so often the games are one team happy, one team sad, and God help you as you walk past the parents.

The kids, at least for a moment, were beyond all of that. What a bunch of class human beings.

They got it. They understood that they already won and this one potential goal, even though it could affect the scoreboard, was bigger than any statistics could ever express.

So once the sea of hockey humanity parted to make way for our goalie to take his shot, the puck didn’t go in. The other goalie blocked it.

But it didn’t matter. Everyone cheered.

It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. And the smiles on the faces of all those kids and all those parents was something I’ve never experienced.

What mattered is, for one long beautiful harmonious moment, everyone stood in amazement at life unfolding in the most beautiful way.

Kids were being kids.

They were having fun.

And team colors and scoreboard totals weren’t going to ruin the special moment they created.

The kids taught all of us to see them as people with feelings and needs. As beings with a love for the sport and each other.

I still can’t believe it.

And as far as the headline goes, I wasn’t trying to deceive. Sure the goalie didn’t score in the way you might think. But in the ways that matter — the ways that make us feel alive and connected and joyful — he scored. And the assist goes to every kid who made it possible.

Sometimes in life I just can’t help but stand in awe…

I coach what I know: sports and human motivation, team building, and making the most of the life we have. You can contact me at