BUFFALO Dougie Hamilton hasnt shown himself to be a very emotional hockey player in his rookie campaign with the Bruins.
But the 19-year-old couldnt help but get a little excited and treat himself to a giant pump fist after potting his first career NHL goal in the first period of Bostons 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. The rookie defensemans parents, his aunt and uncle and a slew of his close friends all came down from the Toronto area to catch Dougie doing his thing.
That might have made it a little nerve-wracking for Hamilton, but it also added to the celebration level when he cranked a shot into an open net for a power play goal.
David Krejci had fired a shot at the net near the right post that Ryan Miller made the initial stop on, and the rebound bounced right back to Krejci in the same spot. Instead of shooting again he dropped a pass to Hamilton rushing into the slot area, and the Bruins defenseman snapped a shot into the open area of the net.
It was a big goal at the time that tied the game at 1-1 in the first period, and it made Hamilton the youngest defenseman to score a goal for the Bruins (19 years old) since Jonathan Girard did it at the same age way back in 1999.
Milan Lucic made sure to secure the puck for the rookie, so hell always have a keepsake from that first NHL goal scored Feb. 15 against the Sabres.
You cant really describe it. Its such a dream come true, said Hamilton. I was still smiling when the second period started and I was still shaking from all of the adrenaline. It was just a lot of fun and I was so happy I was able to do it in front of my friends and family.
The goal snapped a six-game pointless streak for the teenaged rookie, and Hamilton followed it up with a heady play in the second period when he fired a point shot wide right of the net. The puck caromed off the end boards to Rich Peverley waiting in front of the net, and Hamilton picked up the assist when the third line winger scored the go-ahead goal.
So it was the rookies second multi-point game of his career sandwiched into 17:51 of ice time along with five attempted shots (three of which were blocked) and two blocked shots of his own. Unfortunately it wasnt in a winning effort for his hockey club, but that didnt stop his coach from being happy for him.
It was so nice for him to get that close to him. I thought he was in the right position and it was a good power play for us. Your first NHL goal is something you always dream of, said Claude Julien. Its unfortunate that it doesnt come in a win because that certainly makes for a better memory.
Hamilton certainly did everything within his power to try to push the Bruins toward a win in his big game, and he enjoyed a cool little moment that hell always remember. But with the goal in his rear view mirror now, things for Hamilton will become all about the team goals rather than the personal benchmarks as he keeps accumulating those rookie experiences.