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Coyle Wins Sauce Challenge, Donates To Charities

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

When it comes to shooting a puck into a very small goal, Charlie Coyle proved his sauce is saucier than most.

Coyle won the 2015 Sauce Hockey Challenge, and has split its $10,000 prize between two charities of his choice.

A lifestyle apparel company, Sauce Hockey collaborated with more 20 NHL players and television host Mike Kelly to put on the challenge. Players were given 10 shots at a mini-goal that was 12 yards away and was eight-by-12 inches.

Coyle split the prize money evenly between Defending the Blue Line, and Humor to Fight the Tumor. He won the challenge after scoring on six of his 10 shots.

"It's going to do some good for both causes, and it's great for Sauce Hockey to do something like this to be able to help some of the people," Coyle said.

Zach Parise, Jason Zucker, Jason Pominville, and Jared Spurgeon also competed in the challenge, but eventually lost to their Wild teammate, Coyle.

"When we did it, it was me and [Spurgeon], we had just got to the rink, and they said they were doing this challenge so we went out to check it out," Coyle said. "He went first for a warmup, and it looked pretty hard. I went up for a warmup, and I think I hit five out of six, and everyone was like, 'What the?' They didn't expect it, and I don't know, it just clicked."

Coyle ended up taking the lead away from teammates Zucker and Spurgeon, who each had scored on four of their shots. Parise (three), and Pominville (one) finished behind them.

"I felt good doing it, and it was fun—we had some laughs doing it," Coyle said. "I heard Zucker got four-out-of-10, he was the leader, so there was some extra motivation."

Defending the Blue Line gives children of military members the opportunity to play hockey, whether it's free equipment, access to summer hockey camps, or grants.

"I've gotten to know [Defending the Blue Line founder] Shane Hudella for a few years now, and I know he's always looking for guys to help out any way they can, and be a part of it," Coyle said. "I've learned about it, and what they do for those families. I kind of jumped at that to try to help any way I could, and he's been very good to me."

Humor to Fight the Tumor raises money for brain tumor research, and puts on an annual gala featuring live comedy, silent and live auctions, and a dinner.

"It's two great causes, and two charities that are close to me," Coyle said.

Should the Sauce Hockey Challenge return next year, Coyle said he's ready to defend his title.

"It's such a great thing they're doing that I think more guys will want to do it, and be a part of it, and get a crack at it," he said.

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