Nfld. & Labrador

Brett Connolly's viral video, a happy Washington Capitals fan and one proud mom

From the first round of the NHL playoffs, a viral video emerged that wasn't a spectacular save, glorious goal or a concussion-causing hit.

How a piece of rubber put fans on a roller-coaster of emotions that ended with smiles

It took three tries from Brett Connolly to get Keelan Moxley a souvenir from Sunday night's playoff game against Columbus. (NBC Sports/NHL)

A viral video emerged from the first round of the NHL playoffs, and it's not a spectacular save, glorious goal or a concussion-causing hit.

Instead, it's footage of an adorable little girl, the Washington Capitals' Brett Connolly and a hockey puck.

Well, three hockey pucks. 

The Capitals right winger spotted first-grader Keelan Moxley and her adorable smile against the glass during the warm up. He tried to toss a puck over the glass to her, but another boy caught it. He tried again and yet another boy caught it.

Then he tried again. Finally, the puck was in her hands.

Connolly's persistence and Moxley's reaction won over the internet, and the video has been seen by millions of people around the world, including Dawn Connolly, Brett Connolly's mother. 

"As a hockey parent, we all know the impression that these people have, and it's just really rewarding to see things like this happen," she said.

"They can make such a difference in just a few seconds of a person's life."

Dawn Connolly, right, says she's very proud of her son Brett, center. (Dawn Connolly )

Connolly's parents, Dawn and Pat Connolly, were born and raised on the west coast of Newfoundland, in the community of St. George's. 

The high school sweethearts left for British Columbia after Dawn finished up a nursing program at Memorial University in the early 1990s.

After she saw the viral video, she reached out to her son with a text.

"I said, 'In two days from now, in weeks from now, in two years from now, no one is going to remember whether you won or lost that game, but some people are going to remember that gesture that you made to that young little girl,'" Connolly said.

'Happy, really happy'

It won't be a night young Moxley will be able to soon forget, or the millions of people who have since watched the video online. 

"I felt devastated, sad, but I felt good for the two boys," Moxley told CBC's The National about watching two pucks get passed to young male Caps fan on either side of her.

But her now-famous frown quickly turned around and she finally got what Connolly was trying to get her.

"I felt happy, really happy," she said.

The best kind of assist

Connolly has a lone point in the 2017-2018 playoffs as of Thursday, and it just so happens to be an assist.

But to his mom that assist is not as important as the one he gave to Moxley. 

"It was a very proud moment," Dawn said.

"I watch hockey, but the actual game of hockey is not really my thing. The thing that I want my kids to get out of hockey and team sports, and just life in general, is to be a good person."

This young Caps fan has a night neither she nor the internet will ever forget. (Lauren Moxley)

According to Connolly, her son Brett is a humble guy and doesn't have a lot to say. But she thinks he's happy with what he did and the reaction it got.

"There's way too much horrible stuff that goes on in this world and the events of last weekend just bring it home for us that life is so precious — that we just need to make the most of the opportunities we are given," she said. 

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