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Short Shifts

Dumba helps stranded family fill gas tank, escape cold after game

Wild defenseman picked up valuable assist after loss to Panthers

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

Matt Dumba played a game Monday then picked up an important assist on his ride home.

The Minnesota Wild defenseman helped a family escape the cold by filling their tank and jumping their car outside Target Center after their 5-4 loss to the Florida Panthers on Monday.

Dumba played 21:25 against Florida, then pulled his car over to help a stranded man and his wife with their granddaughter in the car outside the arena.

"There was a lady outside the car, and she was just kind of asking for help as the cars kept going past," Dumba said Wednesday. "I unrolled the window and asked what was going on. They needed gas, so I offered to take her husband to the gas station."

Nick Swanson, an off-duty officer for the Twin Cities suburb of Rosemount, Minnesota, was heading home from a friend's house and first noticed the cars stopped before realizing it was Dumba who had pulled over to help. 

"I never expected to see him there," Swanson told "He has been my favorite player forever. The way he acts and conducts himself around fans was just completely normal. I felt like he was one of my friends."

Aside from running out of gas, the car battery also had died, so Swanson intervened to jump start the car so everyone could escape the cold.  

"You could tell everyone was tired and cold," Swanson said. "I kind of took charge and helped to get the car jump started, and then we went on our way."

Swanson snapped a picture and posted it to Facebook, where it quickly spread virally, much to Dumba's dismay.

"I said I gotta grab a picture here. You've got to get credit for this," Swanson said. "You could tell he didn't want the photo, but he smiled so he must've been happy."

Dumba, who recently promised a significant donation to wildfire relief in Australia, again downplayed the event while discussing it before Minnesota's game against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

"It's something that I would do if I saw it again," Dumba said. "It's kind of how I was brought up. I don't think it's too big of a deal." Independent Correspondent Jessi Pierce contributed to this report.

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