Junior Titans hockey player becomes YouTube sensation

 Taylor Cox Taylor Cox I n a split second, or the time it took him to break a pane of glass, Taylor Cox became a celebrity.

Cox, a forward on the New Jersey Junior Titans youth ice hockey team which plays out of Howell Ice World, said he tried to “pump up my teammates” after scoring a goal against the Titans’ rival, the New Jersey Rockets. So the winger did something he had not done before.

“It was the first time I ever jumped onto the glass,” he said.

What happened next made Cox a YouTube sensation.

“I went through the glass,” he said.

Cox’s leap shattered the glass surrounding the rink and was captured on video by Fast Hockey. Representatives of that organization asked Cox’s permission to use the video and George Haviland Jr., the Titans’ hockey director and coach, put the 17-second clip that includes Cox’s goal on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkCajKxd7PQ& feature=youtu.be At that point, the clip went viral. “I didn’t think it would get as much hype as it did,” Cox said.

The producers of ESPN Sports Center picked the clip as one of the day’s Top 10 highlights. The footage has been shown in more than 190 countries and viewed by more than one million people, according to the Howell Ice World website.

Cox said his teammates have been giving him some ribbing about being on Sports Center and about all the intention the 17-second clip is receiving, but attention is not something he seeks and he is not dwelling on it.

“I talk about it if they bring it up,” he said. “I have to accept it and move on.” He would rather talk about the goal he scored in that game, which turned out to be the winner in the Titans’ 4-1 victory over the Rockets in Howell.

Cox was calm about the whole event as it unfolded.

“I kind of did a 180 and landed on my butt” after going through the glass, he said. “I just got up and the first thing I thought was to get back to the bench. All my teammates were laughing at it.”

Cox was unscathed; he had no cuts, just some pieces of glass that had gotten into his uniform that he removed.

Back on the bench, Cox recalled thinking to himself, “I can’t believe I went through the glass.” He had no idea his leap would generate a measure of YouTube fame. Cox is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa. He is staying with a family in Jackson while playing for the Junior Titans. He graduated from high school in June and came to play for the Titans in late summer.

“They [Titans] have a really good program,” he said. “They have a great organization.”

Cox’s goal is to play college hockey and the exposure he gets by playing for the Junior Titans will help him toward that goal. The notoriety he has gained with his YouTube moment won’t hurt.

He said he came to New Jersey to join the Junior Titans because, “I wanted to go far away so I could focus on hockey. I’ve seen improvement since I dedicated myself.”

Back home in Pittsburgh, Cox is a celebrity because of the video.

“Everyone loves it,” he said. “My dad (Patrick) thinks it’s funny.”