Bell Centre in Montreal and Lac La Biche, Alberta are about 2,200 miles apart, but there was a pretty solid celebration in both places Tuesday when Montreal Canadiens forward Rene Bourque completed his hat trick against the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Fans were so excited by Montreal Canadiens forward Rene Bourque's three-goal night that they tossed hats on his parents' front lawn in Lac La Biche. (Photo: Christine Owchar)
Bourque's third goal came at 6:33 of the third period to give the Canadiens a 6-4 lead en route to their 7-4 victory.
While Bourque and his teammates celebrated his third goal, the 21,273 at Bell Centre engaged in the hockey tradition of littering the ice with hats.
However, a few fans took the tradition one step further.
Bourque grew up in Lac La Biche, located about three hours northeast of Edmonton, and his parents still live in the town. Fans were so excited by Bourque's three-goal night that they tossed hats on his parents' front lawn.
A photo taken by a neighbor of the family was retweeted more than 100 times and picked up by news outlets throughout North America.
Bourque is the first Canadiens player with a postseason hat trick since Andrei Kostitsyn against the Washington Capitals in the first round of the 2010 playoffs, and he's the first Canadiens player with a hat trick in a conference final (or League semifinal) since Guy Lafleur in the 1975 semifinals against the Buffalo Sabres.
The big night gave Bourque eight goals in 16 playoff games, tied for second in the League and one off the total he scored in 63 regular-season games.
The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 3-2, with Game 6 in New York on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).