Winterhawk saves kayaker from drowning on Willamette River

Winterhawk saves kayaker from drowning on Willamette River »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. - It's been quite a start to 2012 for Winterhawks center Taylor Peters.

On Tuesday night he scored the game-winning goal in overtime at Memorial Coliseum against Moose Jaw to extend the Winterhawks home winning streak to 13 games.

But two nights earlier, he made an even bigger play – helping to save a man from drowning on the Willamette River.

"It's been a good year so far," Peters joked afterward.

On New Year's night, he was finishing up dinner with his host family, called billet families in hockey, on their houseboat when they heard someone screaming.

"We went outside and sure enough the guy was screaming for help," Peters recalled. "What happened was the two guys had gone kayaking during the day. It got dark on them and they were paddling back upstream and I guess, there're a lot of pockets of currents, and he got caught. Their kayak capsized and the one guy managed to swim to shore and he was the one shouting."

Peter's and his billets son didn't hesitate to jump into kayaks for a rescue mission.

"We took off and it was pitch black," Peters said. "We used the reflections from the lights of the houses to kind of find a silhouette in the water and we just got lucky and found him. He looked like he had symptoms of hypothermia and he managed to hold on to my kayak as I pulled him back to shore a hundred feet away. The Coast Guard showed up minutes later and everybody ended up all right."