Dean Youngblood, a 17-year-old farmhand from rural New York, has dreams of playing in the National Hockey League. Dean voices these dreams to his father who disapproves, however Dean's brother, Kelly, convinces their father to relent. Dean travels to Canada to try out for the Hamilton Mustangs where he demonstrates his offensive skills but displays a lack of physical toughness. Carl Racki, who is competing for a spot, engages him in a fight and quickly defeats him. Despite this, the Mustangs head coach, a former NHL All-Star, selects Dean for the team. Dean also begins a flirtation with the coach's daughter, Jessie.
After his team mentor, Derek Sutton, is deliberately injured by Racki (now with a rival team), Dean returns home. His brother inspires him to keep playing, and his father teaches him some fighting skills. Dean returns to the team, ready to confront Racki in the final game of the Memorial Cup playoffs.
The game ends with a game-winning goal by Dean with 3 seconds left. As time expires, he confronts and defeats Racki in a fight and is carried off the ice on the shoulders of his teammates.
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