Maddie Wright's ninth birthday was Monday night, and along with brother Josh, they had been on their dad's case for a second dog.
And as much as Brian Wright wanted to keep resisting his kids' campaign, he gave in and made a compromise to the birthday girl before they left their Powell home for Nationwide Arena: pick any player you want, and if he scores a goal tonight, you'll get a dog.
Cam Atkinson, one of her favorite players, was the choice.
So, with that, Brian's wife, Peri, and Maddie went to work on the sign that eventually made the internet rounds before, during and after the Blue Jackets' 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. You may have heard that Atkinson scored a hat trick in the game.
Video: MTL@CBJ: Atkinson registers hat trick late in the 3rd
"There's always a chance, right?" Brian said with a laugh. "And there we were."
When Atkinson scored his first of three goals to tie the game in the first period, Maddie celebrated as she normally would - but it didn't take long for her to turn to Brian and ask which player scored the goal.
"It was Cam," Brian told her.
"And at that point, I knew I couldn't go back on my word," he said. "She was ecstatic."
Maddie, a third grader at Indian Springs Elementary in Powell (she actually goes to school with Jody Shelley's kids, will be on Cloud Nine today and into the foreseeable future.
In their quest for a second family dog, Maddie and Josh had already identified a potential rescue from the Delaware County Humane Society. So, today (Tuesday), Peri is headed to the shelter to meet the dog and make the introduction with the Wrights' three-year-old black lab/Australian shepherd mix, Wrigley.
The Wrights had two seats on the glass last night (where Maddie's sign was spotted during warmups) and they also have two quarter-season seats in section 117. Before the game, Brian said Maddie tried some clever bargaining.
"What if Cam gets an assist?" she asked.
Dad stood firm. "Nope - it has to be a goal," he reminded her.
Well, Atkinson scored three. A puppy trick? A dog trick?
"We're getting a dog, and it's happening soon," Brian said. "But we had to remind her: we're getting ONE dog."
And once Atkinson got wind of it this morning in Montreal, he was all about it. Atkinson is paying for the adoption and will help the Wrights with whatever they need to get set up with their new family member.