Brad Hunt, seen here in Pitt Meadows in 2018 to coach a hockey camp, is on the ice with the Minnesota Wild against the Vancouver Canucks. (The News files)

Maple Ridge hockey player hunting a Stanley Cup

Brad Hunt got into his first NHL playoff game against the Vancouver Canucks

Maple Ridge pro hockey player Brad Hunt was in the lineup for his first NHL playoff game on Sunday night, when his Minnesota Wild took on Hunt’s “hometown” Vancouver Canucks.

Hunt is known both for being slick with the puck and possessing a shot that inspires comparisons to SpaceX. He was stationed on the point for 2:19 of power play time with the Wild in the contest, and he put one of his rocket shots on goal.

The defenceman finished with a respectable 14 minutes of ice time, and was part of a 3-0 shutout win over Vancouver. Hunt was a Canuck killer during three regular season games, with three points on a goal and two assists.

READ ALSO: Wild blank Canucks 3-0 to take early NHL play-in series lead

He made the highlight reels on Sunday night, for his work on the power play and also for being dumped by Canucks agitator Dominic Roussel during a scrum after the whistle.

Game two of the best-of-five series will be played tonight in Edmonton.

Local hockey fans love watching the fortunes of their hometown heroes, and Hunt has been regularly giving them something to cheer about, whether it was his first NHL game with the Edmonton Oilers in the 2013-14 season, breaking through as a regular with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-2018, or signing a two-year contact with the Wild for $1.4 million total in June of 2019.

Hunt has now played 179 NHL regular season games, and put up 58 points. And, of course, he has now added a playoff game.

Another Maple Ridge player who could see ice time in the playoffs this year is veteran Andrew Ladd with the New York Islanders.

Ladd has won Stanley Cups with the Carolina Hurricanes (2006) and Chicago Blackhawks (2010) and captained the Winnipeg Jets. He is now in his fourth season with the Islanders, but after injuries and surgeries on both knees has struggled to get in the lineup the past two seasons. The 34-year-old spent 34 games with the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2019-2020.

The best bet to bring the Stanley Cup to Maple Ridge would arguably be Cam Neely. The Boston Bruins president bought the cup back to his hometown after the Bruins won it in 2011. Hundreds of hockey fans turnout out for pictures. Neely’s Bruins topped the league this season, with 100 points in 70 games.

READ ALSO: Neely returns with Stanley Cup


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