We now know the identity of one of the two shooters whose hockey skills earned a sweet motorcycle ride over a stunned arcade game operator at Mall of America.
Dominic Morris, who played under the bright lights of the boys' hockey state tournament nearly 15 years ago for the Elk River Elks, went to the dealership in Lakeville on Saturday and claimed his Harley-Davidson, a prize he captured on Dec. 20 at the ramped-up Smaaash arcade at the megamall.
"People standing around didn't really know anything," said Morris, recalling the moment he ripped off five shots in a row past a robotic goalie, good for a 2016 Harley-Davidson Street XG500, suggested retail $6,799. "I asked the guy running it if I had just won a Harley, and he had to go grab the manager."
The manager gave everything the once-over, Morris continued, "and then word caught on, and more workers came around and managers and started congratulating me and made and announcement with a megaphone."
Morris played hockey all through his youth and was a defenseman on the Elk River team that claimed the consolation championship in 2001-02. He played two years of junior hockey and then at the club level for Iowa State.
Despite the gap in time from his competitive days until now, the 32-year-old Morris said he had little doubt he could win.
"Once I took a few shots, I felt very confident I could make five in a row," he said.
There had been an equal amount of confidence among the folk at Smaaash that no one would win, let alone two. When Smaaash Chief Executive Keshav Baljee spoke at a media event at Mall of America on Dec. 19, he challenged Minnesotans to try to make five consecutive shots past the robotic goalie. "Do it and you win a Harley-Davidson," he said.
In only a few hours on opening day the next day, Morris and another Minnesota hockey player had won new Harleys. There's no word on who the other sniper is, and Morris said no one has told him that person's identity. All that's come out so far is that it's a 23-year-old man from St. Louis Park.
Baljee had reason to sound confident in his challenge. In the six arcade-on-steroids the company had opened in India since 2012, only five customers have won Harleys. Hundreds of thousands had played the interactive sports game.
After giving away the two motorcycles, Smaaash executives increased to six straight goals the bar for winning a Harley for What the Puck players.
Smaaash also offers a Harley for Super Keeper, a soccer interaction game, to whoever scores seven consecutive goals against the robotic goalkeeper. At first it just took five in a row on the soccer game to win a Harley. There was one winner before the difficulty was raised a couple of notches, a store employee said Sunday.