A High School Hockey Player Netted The Game Winning Overtime Goal Just Hours After His Dad Passed Away
GameTimeCT- There was little doubt Notre Dame-West Haven defenseman Doug Caliendo was going to suit up and play against Northwest Catholic Wednesday afternoon at Bennett Rink.
But no one would have faulted the young man if he decided to sit the game out. His father, Lou, passed away Wednesday morning after a long battle with cancer. But the senior co-captain was going to give it a go.
“Knowing my father for so long, he really loved the sport and always wanted me to play,” Doug said. “He would have said, ‘Just get out there and do what I do best.’”
There the Green Knights were, facing a 2-0 deficit in the third period. But the fourth-ranked Green Knights rallied back and forced overtime.
Then came the storybook ending. Caliendo, a defenseman with just three goals this season, scored just 25 seconds into overtime to give Notre Dame (8-4-1) a 3-2 win over fifth-ranked Northwest Catholic (9-2).
And there you have it folks. Just another moment that proves that sports can occasionally be more than just a game. Another moment that seems like it's too good not to be pulled directly from the script of a motion picture. A kid scoring a game winning goal -in overtime, no less- just hours after his father tragically succumbed to cancer? Not only capping off an unlikely come from behind victory, but capping off one of the most heartwarming stories to ever come to fruition on a hockey rink? I don't know if there is really anyone up there watching over us, but it's times like this that will lead you to believe there is a little something else at work.
It is seems like quite the cliche, but a hockey rink can be quite the sanctuary. Sometimes the best way to grieve is to lace 'em up and -if only for a few hours- try to forget about all that troubles you. Doug Caliendo was granted the spoils of making that tough decision as his teammates swarmed him in celebration and the crowd chanted his name. This pretty much tops the list of ways in which you can best pay respects to the life of a loved one. It just doesn't get much better than that. Sometimes all you can ask for during your darkest days is a reason to smile, and surely this made the face of every Caliendo - young, old, living, deceased- bear a grin. This date will always be hard for the family, but much like the memory of his father, this picture will never, ever die...