The sad story behind Charles Hudon’s goal celebration

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If you’ve ever seen Charles Hudon score a goal, you’ll notice that he points to the sky and does the sign of the cross every time he finds the back of the net.

If you haven’t, you can check out one of his two goals (top) from last night’s big 8-3 win over the Ottawa Senators.

There’s a reason why that’s his “celebration” of choice. As you’d imagine, it has to do with a loved one he lost when he was younger.

In 2011, Hudon’s childhood friend, Nicholas Antonelli, was killed by a drunk driver, after he decided to walk home from a house party. He was just 17 years old when he passed away.

“He was hit by one of his brother’s friends after the party. That friend had decided to drive when he wasn’t in a state to do so,” Hudon told the Canadiens’ website earlier this season. “Nick made a choice because he wanted to be careful and he’s the one who got hit. We were both 17 years old. It’s been a little while, but it’s still difficult to talk about, to think that he made the right decision and it backfired on him. It’s tough.”

Here’s the celebration:

And this is Hudon’s interview during the first intermission of last night’s contest: