Bethel Park senior Connor Namuth almost made $100 off of his first career hat trick, but when offered the money shook it off and refused it. The hat trick was enough for him.
Namuth, 18, was born eight weeks premature and has had cerebral palsy from an early age. Regardless, he has been on the Bethel Park hockey team for three years and has yearned to play more minutes in a game.
“It was cool,” Namuth said. “I’m playing with some of the best players in the league. It was just a cool experience.”
The Bethel Park hockey team scheduled Meadville, a non-league opponent, for Namuth so he could have the opportunity to play a game. And he had the game of his life.
Namuth scored three goals for the trick as Bethel Park defeated Meadville 7-0 on senior night. His best friend and Bethel Park captain Derek Lesnak assisted on all three of Namuth’s goals. Lesnak said that being able to share that moment with Namuth was something special.
“It was great,” Lesnak said. “Connor is my best friend. We’ve been throughout all four years, and assisting on his first goal and every other goal was special to me. We really wanted (Namuth) to play a lot of minutes, and in a league I don’t think he would have gotten a lot of shifts. This game helped him get out there every other shift and he did.”
Namuth explained that he didn’t think he would get a hat trick, so he jokingly bet his friend that he would score three goals.
“It was awesome,” Namuth said. “I made the bet with my friend the morning before. We were joking around. I never thought it would happen either because I was pretty out of shape. I ended up getting the hat trick.”
Lesnak agreed that the moment was special for the whole Bethel Park hockey team.
“It was great,” Lesnak said. “We all came in hoping that he would get a goal - we didn’t know if it was possible for him to get one - and then it was one, then two, then three. It was really special moment for everybody.”