In a perfect world, one of the best moments Ryan Poehling’s life wouldn’t have happened. At least not yet.
While it was hard to beat the storylines that came out of an NHL debut for the ages, the fact Poehling even suited up for the Montreal Canadiens on April 6 was the sobering byproduct of No. 1 overall seed St. Cloud State getting upset in the first round of the NCAA men’s hockey tournament.
“That was so hard to deal with because we did all the right things and it still didn’t go our way,” Poehling said with the memories of the loss still seared into his mind a couple of weeks later. “That’s just how life goes sometimes. That said, it’s not always about what happens, it’s about how we deal with what happens that shows our true character.”
Looking back on it now, to say the 20-year-old Lakeville native took lemons and made lemonade would be an understatement. Exactly a week after cheap nhl jerseys
“one of the worst experiences” of his life, Poehling bounced back with “one of the best.”
Not only did he become only the fifth player to score a hat trick in his NHL debut — a goal in the first period, a goal in the second period, and a goal in the third period — he netted the game-winning goal in the shootout to lift the Canadiens to a 6-5 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“Just thinking about it now, that first goal was pretty surreal,” said Poehling, a first-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft who played at St. Cloud State. “I remember going through the line thinking, ‘Wow. I just scored in my NHL debut.’ Honestly, the second goal and the third goal, I was so into the game that I didn’t really even let myself think about it.
“I feel like the moment that it started to hit me was when I was lining up for the shootout and the crowd was so loud that I couldn’t even hear the whistle blow. It just kind of felt like destiny at that point.”
Originally thinking about going five-hole on Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen, Poehling made a last-second change of plans after watching the previous shooters.