Goals for poppy

But­lerville youth ded­i­cates 50th goal to late grand­fa­ther

The Compass - - PORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

It’s the morn­ing of Feb. 9 at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts and Ma­son Crane picks up the puck at cen­tre ice and is speed­ing to­wards the Pla­cen­tia In­ter­town Lions goal.

The fleet-footed 10-year-old But­lerville res­i­dent is on the precipice of an sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone — 50 goals in a sea­son. He has 49.

Deftly mov­ing to his right, Ma­son makes the de­fender look like a py­lon.

When he reaches the hash marks, five feet from the net, Ma­son flicks his wrist, send­ing the cir­cu­lar black disc into the top of the net.

“We were won­der­ing what he was go­ing to do,” says Ma­son’s mother, Pa­tri­cia.

How­ever, there is no cel­e­bra­tion for this marker. Ma­son’s team — the Bay Arena atom Bs — is al­ready up a con­sid­er­able amount over their op­po­nents.

“It was awe­some,” Ma­son says later.

Just prior to the start of the tour­na­ment, Ma­son made a pledge in me­mory of his late-grand­fa­ther, John ‘ Jack’ Crane, who passed away in Oc­to­ber 2012. No. 50 would be in his hon­our.

Af­ter per­form­ing the con­grat­u­la­tory high-fives with his team­mates, Ma­son re­ceives the sig­nif­i­cant piece of rub­ber. Prior to the re­sump­tion of play, he quickly skates over to the stands where his fa­ther, Gra­ham, is stand­ing.

‘ Think­ing about my pop’

Ma­son does not re­mem­ber much of what was go­ing through his mind as he was go­ing for the goal. One thing he does re­mem­ber is who he was think­ing about.

“I was think­ing about my pop,” says Ma­son.

Un­doubt­edly, Ma­son was think­ing about the numer­ous trips the two made to­gether in the woods be­hind But­lerville on the all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle, or the times Ma­son helped Jack carry wood into the base­ment. Ma­son even had his own wheelbarrow for the job.

Maybe he was rem­i­nisc­ing when the two would sit to­gether and watch the larger-than-life characters of World Wrestling En­ter­tain­ment on tele­vi­sion.

While not the big­gest hockey fan, Jack man­aged to make it to the Bay Arena to watch his grand­son on numer­ous oc­ca­sions.

“The only hockey he watched was Ma­son’s,” says Gra­ham, speak­ing of his late fa­ther.

Proud par­ents

Gra­ham and Pa­tri­cia had no idea their son was plan­ning on hon­our­ing Jack.

“In all hon­esty, we didn’t know he was go­ing to do it,” says Pa­tri­cia.

When his par­ents caught wind of what their son was plan­ning, they were “taken aback by it all.”

They do know one thing, how­ever.

“We’re proud of states.

Back at the arena, a group of par­ents around Pa­tri­cia and Gra­ham start ask­ing ques­tions about the cher­ished puck. One mother asks Pa­tri­cia why her son was given the puck.

Telling her the rea­son, Pa­tri­cia re­ceived an un­usual re­ac­tion.

“When I told her, she started to cry,” said Pa­tri­cia.

him,” Pa­tri­cia

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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