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Matt Duchene invites 'celly kid' to Blue Jackets playoff game

Young fan had recreated game-winning goal celebration in viral video

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Marty Krieger never thought a simple tweet could lead to so much. 

After the Blue Jackets fan took video of his 6-year-old son Mason scoring a goal and then mimicking the sliding celebration Matt Duchene made after his Game 2 double-OT winner for the Jackets vs. Boston, Krieger decided to put the video on Twitter and tag Duchene. 

Many players might have missed it or simply given the video a Like, but Duchene was struck by the moment featuring a kid who has his own No. 95 jersey.

Video: Matt Duchene invites kid to Game 4

"This is absolutely amazing," Duchene tweeted. "This was me as a kid watching Sakic and Forsberg. Thank you so much for sharing." 

But that wasn't all. Duchene decided to invite Marty and Mason from their home in Westlake, Ohio, outside Cleveland to Columbus for Game 4 of the Boston series, something that left Mason beyond excited when his sister, Megan, delivered the news. 

While the Blue Jackets lost the game, there was still a great postgame moment between Duchene and the Kriegers, who met outside the locker room at Nationwide Arena. Not only did they get to take photos and meet Duchene, Mason was introduced as "the celly kid" to other Blue Jackets players, leading to fist bumps all around. 

"It was amazing," Marty said of the experience, which included Mason being presented with an autographed Duchene jersey at the game. "It was pretty unbelievable. The Blue Jackets organization is top-notch. We just had a blast. Matt is a great guy to take the time with Mason (that he did)." 

Mason took an interest in hockey this season when his dad, a former Columbus resident who has always been a fan of the sport going back to watching it with his father, had a game on television.  

"I was watching a game and Mason came around the corner and said, 'What is this?'" Marty remembers. "I said, 'Hockey.' He said, 'I think I like this.' All of a sudden he's like hockey, hockey, hockey." 

Mason just began skating after getting a pair of skates for Christmas, and Mason's favorite number is 95 thanks to Lightning McQueen from the Cars series of movies. As soon as the Blue Jackets had a No. 95 on the roster, Duchene quickly became Mason's favorite player.  

So the youngster was excited to find out -- long after his bedtime -- that Duchene was the one who had given the Jackets the victory in a Game 2 marathon that began Saturday evening and stretched into the early hours of Sunday morning.  

Video: CBJ@BOS, Gm2: Duchene wins it in 2OT on power play

"It's funny because I woke him up the next day and the first thing he said, he didn't even say good morning or anything, he said, 'Did the Blue Jackets win?'" Marty said. "I said, 'They did, and you know what happened?' He was like, 'Did Matt Duchene get the winning goal?' I said yeah and he was jumping off the bed he was so excited." 

For a first-year introduction to the sport, Mason has had quite a run. He also got a puck from Alexandre Texier during a Cleveland Monsters game earlier this year, got to watch the team up close for its open practice after the Tampa Bay series, and had his youthful exuberance spotlighted by media outlets across the hockey world.  

And thanks to Duchene, he now has a playoff memory that will last the rest of his life. 

"It's funny because I (told Duchene) 'Thank you,' and he's like, 'No, thank you,'" Marty said. "(Duchene said), 'That was such a fantastic video and I love Mason's excitement.'" 

Mason has to get the last word, though. At the end of a conversation with Marty about the experience, Mason grabbed the phone and had one thing to say. 

"GO BLUE JACKETS!" 

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