Mom uses TikTok to find Cleveland fan who saved child from hockey puck

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Just over a minute was left on the clock during a hockey game in Cleveland Thursday when a player struck the puck, sending it barreling into the stands and toward Asia Davis’s 4-year-old son. That’s when another fan jumped and extended his right arm to block the puck from hitting the boy’s head.

Sitting in bed later that night, Davis held the puck that had nearly hit her son, Nasir. She considered how badly he could’ve been hurt if the fan had not helped and later posted on TikTok in hopes of tracking him down.

“I owe that man lunch or dinner, another thank you,” Davis said in the video, “ … because I cannot imagine my baby getting hit with that hockey puck.”

The video, which has received more than 4 million views, quickly reached Andrew Podolak, who Davis said wrote in a TikTok message that he was glad he protected her son.

Davis, Podolak and Nasir reunited at another American Hockey League game Saturday, when they dropped the puck before the Cleveland Monsters played the Laval Rocket. Davis, 33, told The Washington Post she was glad to hug Podolak and thank him for what she said might’ve been a lifesaving move.

Davis, Nasir and her friend met Podolak when they sat next to him, a few rows from the ice, Thursday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. A victory would secure the Columbus Blue Jackets’ affiliate a spot in the playoffs.

Just over a minute before the Monsters won, Davis’s friend held up her phone to record the players’ scuffles and celebrations on the ice. That’s when a Cleveland player deflected a pass, hitting the puck into the air.

Davis said she didn’t have time to react. Podolak, sitting on the other side of Nasir, leaped up and held out his arm, changing the puck’s trajectory and sending it over Nasir’s head. Nasir didn’t even see the puck, Davis said, but ice chips landed in his hair.

“The kids behind us, they picked up the puck and gave it to my son,” Davis said. “And, you know, I held the puck up and realized what he just escaped.”

Davis thanked Podolak, asked him to pose for a photo with Nasir and joked he should be a goaltender. But as the game ended, she was still processing how close the puck had come to her son’s face. She said her head throbbed and her stomach ached as she left the arena.

The next day, she called the arena in hopes of identifying the fan. While staff asked for more time to locate him, she posted a TikTok video early Saturday morning featuring the photo of Nasir and Podolak. She doubted she would find him through the social media app.

When she woke up about eight hours later, Davis said the video had gone viral. She said Podolak messaged her, and Davis responded by saying she would buy him playoff tickets later this month.

On Saturday afternoon, the Monsters invited Davis, Nasir and Podolak to their game that night. When the trio arrived at the arena, cameras from local TV stations followed them as Davis and Podolak hugged. They greeted players before they entered the ice and recounted Podolak’s block with reporters.

“I had a couple of other kids sitting behind me as well, so I just tried jumping in front of it,” Podolak told Fox 8 News.

Watching the game from the stadium’s front-row seats, Davis was nervous another puck would fly toward Nasir. So the 4-year-old sat between the adults — in case Podolak’s heroics were required again.

While Davis said she still has “PTSD” from the incident, Podolak’s efforts helped make Thursday a memorable night for Nasir for a different reason. He was so excited fans gave him the puck that flew by him, he has since been holding it while he sleeps.

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