Improbable shots win men HDTVs at BSU hockey games (with video)
To say each shot was not easy would be an understatement.
Having three people successfully make the shot - using a stick to push a hockey puck 3½ inches in diameter through a small cutout in a board placed in front of a goal about 85 feet away - is improbable.
But three men made their respective shots from center ice during intermission contests this past weekend at Bemidji State University hockey games against Denver University.
By making their shots, each man won a 46-inch flat screen HDTV in the Paul Bunyan Communications/Naylor's Hockey Hot Shots promotion.
Kraig Fontaine of Bagley made his shot at center ice at Friday's game.
The next day, former BSU goaltender Orlando Alamano and Ben Shanahan, both of Bemidji, made back-to-back shots to win TVs.
"I can't say we were surprised that someone won the contest, we did have three winners last year, but to have three winners in one weekend and two make the shot back-to-back is phenomenal," said Brian Bissonette, marketing supervisor at Paul Bunyan Communications, in a news release.
"It's not an easy shot, each contestant only gets one try, and they are in front of over 3,800 people."
This season, 18 previous contestants failed to slip the puck into the goal by taking a shot from center ice.
Alamano said he tried the shot one time previous, being part of the contest at the last Beaver game played at the John Glas Fieldhouse. He didn't come close to making the shot.
"When I was selected Saturday night I was just hoping to get a little redemption and hit the board," Alamano said. "As a former BSU goalie, I wanted to make a good showing. Right when I shot it I thought it had a chance. I was pumped it went it. Then to have Ben make it right after me was incredible!"
Robb Naylor said the Hockey Hot Shots contest makes BSU games more exciting for fans.
"Naylor's is thrilled to be a part of Hockey Hot Shots and to support BSU men's hockey. We believe Hockey Hot Shots has made the game experience even more exciting for the fans, and we're proud to help make it happen along with Paul Bunyan Communications," added Robb Naylor from Naylor's.
Last season, there were three winners in the contest.
The contest is held during the first intermission at each BSU men's home hockey games.
All contestants receive a coupon for a free PBTV On Demand movie rental, any contestant hitting the board received an advanced feature cordless phone, and a contestant who puts the puck in the net through the middle of the Hockey Hot Shots board wins a 46-inch flat screen HDTV.