Prince George Spruce Kings goalie Logan Neaton attracted widespread praise from hockey watchers everywhere Tuesday night.
While the rest of his teammates were celebrating a hard-fought overtime win that knocked the Victoria Grizzlies out of the playoffs and booked Prince George into the league final, Neaton went to Grizzlies goalie Kurtis Chapman instead.
Chapman stayed on one knee after Ben Poisson's goal, clearly devastated after the tough loss.
Neaton's first stop was brief but then he circled back and, after being initially stopped by the two concerned linesmen, approached a now-standing Chapman. The two goalies embraced and patted each other on the shoulder. By this point, Keenan Rancier, the backup goalie for the Kings, was at Neaton's side.
Neaton, who turns 20 on Sunday, showed maturity far in excess of his years.
He knew he would have a long bus ride home from Victoria to celebrate a series win with his teammates. In the moment, however, he was put aside his own joy to reach out to the guy at the other end of the rink feeling a heartache only goalies can appreciate.
Here's a sample of the Twitter compliments, including my own:
@GregBalloch: Sportsmanship doesn't get much better than what we saw from @neaton_logan and @chappy1998 last night in Victoria.
@GoaliesNeverSay: Immediately after the @SpruceKings eliminate the @BCHLGrizzlies in a hard-fought overtime, goaltender @neaton_logan goes straight to his 20-year-old counterpart @chappy1998, whose excellent junior career was ended by the goal. That mutual respect is a beautiful thing.
@CoachLiddell: Pure class Neats.
@fireladdyguy: When I saw that clip it was so heartwarming to see such sportsmanship. Not sure the linesmen knew what to do when that happened. Goaltenders certainly have a different level of friendship and it showed here for sure!!
@NeilGodbout: the goal is awesome but what @neaton_logan did after was pure sportsmanship and class - those @SpruceKings are fantastic ambassadors for #cityofpg.
@HamWilder: Class, sportsmanship, leadership and no doubt some parents incredibly proud of their son, as @SpruceKings @neaton_logan skips the group hug and instead waits it out to console @BCHLGrizzlies Kurtis Chapman.
@ToddDohertyMP: Very proud of my @SpruceKings! The call of the winning goal is great but what makes me even more proud - our goalie @neaton_logan is the one of the first to console the @BCHLGrizzlies goalie. Class & integrity. Attaboy Neats.
@KeeganBell4: What a class act by PG's goaltender Logan Neaton in this video. Great work young man.
@JTLazare: As a former goalie (and one who has been on the wrong side of a season ending OT goal) this was amazing to see. @neaton_logan goes right to Chapman after his team books a ticket to the finals. #GoalieBrotherhood.
@mrslaursen2: First class sportsmanship from Neaton.
@alijomo72: The spruce kings goalie is now one of my favourite players. I love seeing good sportsmanship out there. Congratulations @SpruceKings.
@DonnyJo37233367: What a class act by Neaton, i know they shake hands after the series but to go over to the opposing goaltender to console him before celebrating with your own team shows true class and respect. Well done, Neaton, well done.
-- Editor-in-chief Neil Godbout