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Nick Bonino loves epic Punjabi ‘Bonino, Bonino!’ goal call

PITTSBURGH – When Nick Bonino scored the game-winning goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, he heard the crowd roar. He heard ‘Party Hard’ play over the arena speakers. He heard the shouts of appreciation from his teammates. 

What he didn’t hear was Harnarayan Singh, play-by-play guy for Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi, losing his mind with a goal call for the ages, bellowing Bonino’s name 10 straight times before punctuating it with “NICK BOOOOOOONEEEEENOOOOOO!”

But he heard it after the game, as did millions of fans around the world, as Singh’s call went viral.

“If you’re watching the playoffs at all, you can’t help but notice them. They’re all over social media. Guys back home are getting a kick out of it,” said Bonino on Wednesday, before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the San Jose Sharks.

“It’s amusing. I think they do a good job with their broadcast. Everybody gets a laugh out of it.”

So what is it about Bonino and not another Penguins goal scorer?

“My name might be a little harder to announce,” said Conor Sheary, who also scored for the Penguins.

“The beard helps,” said Bonino.

“The name doesn’t change. Bonino is Bonino in every language. And a goal is a goal,” said Harpreet Pandher, the broadcast’s analyst. “Punjabis are very loud and we’re vibrant with our dances and whatever may be… so just a little bit louder.”

It was at least the second time Singh had used the call, and it actually began with a mistake.

As he told the Lynda Steele Show on CKNW in Vancouver, in his pregame notes for a Penguins’ playoff game against the Washington Capitals, he accidentally listed Bonino’s name for all three forward positions on his line.

As in, “BONINO BONINO BONINO,” which became a joke among the other broadcasters.

So it was in his head when Bonino scored against the Capitals.

“It went crazy back then. We’ve had so many requests from viewers and fans all over North America that they wanted to hear it again, so I was waiting – okay if he scores a big goal, it’s the overtime winner or some sort of huge goal in the Stanley Cup Final I’ll do it,” Singh told Steele. “He scores the game winning goal with just minutes to go I just had no choice, I had to do it.” 

Bonino said he’s been flooded with people who have heard the goal calls. There’s already a T-shirt with “BONINO BONINO” on it.

Has he made it his ring tone yet?

“I told my family they should get it,” said Bonino. “So they know when I’m calling.”

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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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