As scholars of the hockey hug, we here at Puck Daddy can offer this piece of valuable advice to players looking for a dance partner for a post-goal embrace: try, if possible, to limit your affection to teammates. We've seen what happens when you try to hug an opponent. You get punched.
But in the heat of the moment, we understand if you can't wait for your teammates to join you along the wall. If that's the case, might we recommend grabbing a referee? As Corey Cowick of the Binghamton Senators found out over the weekend, they're surprisingly affectionate.
Adorable. But what was Cowick doing, anyway? Because normally you don't hug officials.
Our guess: black helmet. Considering how quickly Cowick buries the rebound, swivels and grabs the referee, it's likely that he was midway through the hug before he realized the guy under the helmet wasn't a fellow Senator.
From the reverse angle, you can see the moment Cowick realizes who he's holding. Lucky for him, it's not as though he was met with hostility, and here's a theory on that, too.
The official playing along with the surprise cuddle attack: Terry Koharski, brother of now retired NHL referee Don Koharski. Considering who his brother is, he's fully aware of just how bad official abuse can get in the heat of a game. (Terms like "Have another doughnut" and "You fell, you fat pig" come to mind.) Thus, when someone hugs a ref, even inadvertently, it's only wise to reinforce the positive behaviour and turn the error into a tender moment.
s/t to Henry Brown.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney