The National Hockey League’s Instagram caught the moment a B.C. kid got the souvenir of a lifetime.
The NHL posted a short video of Carter Cavan receiving a stick from his hockey idol Alex Ovechkin in the tunnel after the game. The boy yells “Yah! Thank you, Ovie!”
The Maple Ridge boy had just watched his hockey hero and the Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers 4-0 at Madison Square Gardens on Tuesday night.
But there is more to the story than just that – Carter got to meet Ovie afterward, and congratulate him on his recent assault on the NHL record books.
“What an amazing experience for this little boy,” said his mother Samantha Cavan, on the phone from New York.
Carter was happy just to get a puck. He was in the stands during warmups, holding up his sign that says, in part, “I travelled from Vancouver Canada to see you play. Can I have a stick? It would make my day.”
Ovechkin spotted the boy, and threw him a puck.
After the shutout win, Carter was at the tunnel where the Capitals players came off the ice, giving them all fist bumps as they walked by. He had put his sign down.
“I already got a puck from him, and I thought that was really cool,” he said.
But then a camera man from TSN told him to come back into the tunnel, Ovechkin was waiting there with the ultimate souvenir, his game stick, and Carter’s late Christmas gift was caught on video.
“I was super in shock,” said Carter.
The best was yet to come.
Discussing his souvenir with another family they met, he found out they knew a member of the Capitals coaching staff. Carter learned they were waiting around for “a family and friends thing,” he said, and asked if he and his mom would like to join in.
Soon he was at a little social gathering with Caps players including Lars Eller, Conor Sheary, and of course, The Great Eight.
Ovechkin’s father was one of the family members there. He handed Carter a Sharpie, so he could get his stick signed, and the Capitals captain obliged.
“I said ‘Congrats on 802,’ and he said ‘Thanks’,” recalled Carter.
Ovechkin scored his 802nd goal to pass Gordie Howe for second in all-time scoring, behind only Wayne Gretzky whose record is 894.
It was a big moment for a kid who falls asleep looking at a big eight on his wall.
“I’m definitely a big fan of Ovie – my whole room is red, white and blue like the Capitals. I love how he plays – he’s a goal scorer, and he fights and is aggressive,” the boy shared.
Carter’s New York vacation with his parents, Trevor and Samantha, plus his brother, Tyler, is coming to a close. But it will be a holiday he will never forget.
Carter is the team captain of the Ridge Meadows Rusters U-13 A2 team, and will be back in time for the Hometown Heroes tournament that starts on Thursday.
More information is available on the Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association Facebook page.
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