MANKATO, Minn. (FOX 9) - Minnesota State University - Mankato junior Morgan Ward received a special welcome at work after she made headlines following the Mavericks hockey game Friday night.
At the urging of her boyfriend, Ward entered a promotion at the game – and ended up winning $30,000 as a result.
“I didn’t want to go down there because I did not want to be the center of attention. That game was pretty packed. I did not want to be there,” she said.
The challenge was to successfully shoot a puck from the opposite blue line, through a tiny hole with an eighth of an inch of clearance on either side – which, amazingly, she did.
Even more astounding, Ward has never really played hockey and barely knew how to hold the stick.
“Walking out there, the only thing I am thinking is, ‘don’t fall on the ice,' and 'shoot hard enough to make it down the ice.’ I didn’t want to look like a weak little girl,” Ward said.
The 20-year old fired her one shot on a perfect line during the second period intermission. The crowd of more than 4,000 rocked the Verizon Center when she nailed it dead-center.
Everyone was stunned, including marketing intern Alex Funk, whose job it was to capture the moment on his cell phone for insurance verification on the $30,000 payout.
“In my peripheral vision, I saw the puck about right here coming in and thought, ‘no way. no way.’ I looked down, I saw puck in net. I was shocked,” Funk said.
MSU Mankato Assistant Athletic Director Greg Weis said they were going to give Ward some pointers before she went out on the ice.
“[We’d show] how to hold the stick, square her shoulders and keep feet squared up so she doesn’t face plant…and she jars it. Incredible!”
Ward said that days later, she’s still in shock.
“It’s still wild to me. I woke up the next day and had, like, 100 notifications. Everyone at work is congratulating me. It’s a great feeling,” she said.