Alex Ovechkin Scores a Hat Trick in Toronto, Dedicates It To Cancer Survivor

Photo: @lukefoxjukebox

Alex Ovechkin may have been the star on the stats sheet in the Capitals 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs Saturday night, but the biggest star of the night was one of his biggest fans, 13-year old Alex Luey. Luey recently endured a tough battle with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, that he was diagnosed with within the past year. After having part of his right leg amputated, Luey had a new prosthetic made that enabled him to return to playing youth hockey for his hometown team, the Niagara Falls Flyers

Ovechkin recently learned of Luey’s story and was touched by it so much that he invited him to the Capitals game against the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday. Luey got the news over a surprise video message by the “Great Eight” himself on the “Rogers Hometown Hockey” segment on Sportsnet.

“Hi Alex, it’s your buddy Ovi,” Ovechkin said in the video message. “I heard you’re cancer free. You’re coming to the game in Toronto in November. Can’t wait to meet you so I’ll see you there soon.”

When the big day came, Ovechkin and Luey met for the first time and became instant friends. They even took a selfie together during pregame warmups.

After the pregame skate, Luey got to check out the Capitals locker room and announce the starting lineup.  After walking in, Luey went down the list and read each name. After he said (Nicklas) Backstrom is starting at center it came to announcing Ovechkin.

“At left wing, my buddy Ovi,” said Luey.

Before the game Ovechkin promised that he would score a goal for Luey, but the 13-year old got an even better gift. He got to see not one, not two, but THREE goals by Ovechkin as he notched a hat trick en route to a 4-2 win.

Following the game, Luey received the coveted player of the game award in the Capitals locker room. But that wasn’t all.

Saturday’s Capitals game against the Maple Leafs was featured as Sportsnet’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. Ovechkin was recognized as player of the game for his hat trick. The best performer in these contests is bestowed a coveted towel with the “Hockey Night in Canada” logo during the TV interviews. Who did Ovechkin give the towel to? That’s right! He gave it to his new friend.

“Obviously it was a huge night for us. I think when we played back-to-back’s we didn’t get success but tonight was a huge game for us. It’s nice to get two points especially with this kid with us (as he pats Luey on his shoulder) making a speech (before the game)… he’s our best player out there,” said Ovechkin.

Luey also got to take part in the postgame interview. An emotional Luey said, “He’s my idol and he scored a hat trick for me and they won the game for me. I went on the bench for warmups and went to the pregame speech. It was so fun, so awesome.”

“What did I tell you before the game?” Ovechkin then asked.

“You said you were gonna score for me and win the game,” Luey responded.

“I think he’s our lucky charm and I think we have to bring him on the road all the time,” Ovechkin added. “He was our best player out there.”

The NHL has done a lot for Hockey Fights Cancer ever since the campaign was launched 19 years ago. There have also been many great moments on Hockey Fights Cancer night. Brian Boyle scored on the Devils Hockey Fights Cancer night game on Nov. 9 after himself being diagnosed with Leukemia during training camp. This Saturday night in Toronto, on their Hockey Fights Cancer night, one of the game’s greatest players recognized a young hockey player who fought cancer and won. It was a night that both of them will never forget.

By Michael Marzzacco

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11 Responses to Alex Ovechkin Scores a Hat Trick in Toronto, Dedicates It To Cancer Survivor

  1. One reason why Alex is one of the best people in ALL of hockey. He always goes out of his way to make some kid or family’s day. Just awesome.

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