Blaine Reich is nearly a blur on the ice, but all that padding and a face mask couldn't shield him on the inside form the mysterious thing that was growing on his tongue.
"No idea. We had no clue, only that he had this strange bump on his tongue that kept growing and growing," said Blaine's mother, Jessica.
Jessica says Blaine has had the bump since birth. Dr. Jonathan Perkins at Seattle Children's calls it a venous malformation, basically a blob of tangled blood vessels.
"They can be anywhere in your body," said Dr. Perkins. "Most are in the head and neck, but they can be anywhere."
They're rare and can be painful. Blaine says his didn't hurt.
"It being there on my tongue, it being in the way. It was just kind of a nuisance," said Blaine.
But because it kept growing and could bleed, Blaine decided to have it removed.
The fix turned out to be something you probably have around the house: super glue. Only this was the medical grade variety.
"You don't really think super glue. You know, OK, they're putting super glue on my tongue," said Blaine. "Dr. Ghodke injected the glue into the area right here and it because hard as a rock, like superglue. And then we were able to make a little incision right here and lift this tissue off the top of it and remove the glue and the malformation. So after the surgery, you can hardly tell where the incision was. I know where it was, but I can't see it."
A couple of weeks later, he couldn't even tell he had surgery.
Blaine's focus is not hockey, on and off the ice. And he's trying to keep at least one hat trick ahead of younger brother, Logan.
Had Dr. Perkins done the traditional surgery, he says Blaine might have lost some of his taste buds.
Medical grade super glue is also used for minor wounds, but doctors say don't try this at home since the consumer version is much more caustic and can cause damage.