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'Pure luck': Yellowknife man wins new car with miracle shot

It's a heck of a shot, and a heck of a win: Yellowknife resident Bruce MacDonald will soon be driving in a new Chevrolet Cruze after a centre-ice shot at this weekend's Memorial Hockey Challenge.

Bruce MacDonald won 'shoot to win' contest at Memorial Hockey Challenge in Yellowknife Sunday

Lucky fan Bruce MacDonald says 'pure luck' led to a centre-ice shot that won him a new vehicle this past weekend - the second time a Yellowknifer resident has won a vehicle in a 'shoot to win' contest over the past 5 years. (Loren McGinnis/CBC)

This weekend's Memorial Hockey Challenge in Yellowknife had its share of winners — the Yellowknife RCMP team, who defeated a team of local firefighters in the marquee game, and the family of Deagan Clavette, a Hay River toddler diagnosed with a rare cell disorder who will receive thousands of dollars of funds raised during the event. 

However, thanks to one incredible shot, you can add another name to the list: Yellowknifer Bruce MacDonald. 

MacDonald won the "shoot to win" contest during the festivities, firing a puck from centre ice into a small opening cut into a piece of cardboard which covered the net, nabbing a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze — with an approximate retail value of $26,500 — donated by Yellowknife Motors in the process.

However, when MacDonald was one of three spectators called onto the ice, winning the contest wasn't the first thing on his mind — instead, he was looking forward to the opportunity to meet former Calgary Flames Theoren Fleury and Jamie Macoun, who were in town for the event. 

"To be honest with you, I was just as excited to meet the two ex-NHLers there from the Calgary Flames, and just chatting those guys up while the other two guys got to shoot," said MacDonald. "I watched them both shoot, and they both shot wide left, and then it was my opportunity.

"So I just approached the puck, and a little bit of handling of the puck, and shot it at the net, and yeah, I guess the rest is pretty much known to everybody now."

MacDonald isn't the first Yellowknife resident to win a vehicle in a "shoot to win" contest. Patrick Osmond won a similar contest after making a centre-ice shot in 2012

Though he does play hockey, MacDonald downplayed skill in making his winning shot.

"It's not exactly a big target that you're shooting at, for sure," he said. "So I'll be the first to say pure luck to get it through there.

"To be honest with you, the best and most clearest thought I have, is I have an 11-year-old daughter," he said. "And she said to me before I got on ice: 'Papa, what are we going to do if we win?' And I said to her: 'let's worry about that when it happens.' So now I have to answer that question for her!"

And as for the answer?

"No idea," he said, laughing. "It's a great prize, so it's a fun place to be in, I'll put it to you that way."

with files from Peter Sheldon

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