BOSTON (CBS) — Nearing the end of a long, grueling season, most hockey players would like for nothing else but to get off the ice as soon as possible once another practice reaches its conclusion.
Yet on Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena, the Boston Bruins were more than happy to spend some extra time on the ice to make a little girl’s dream come true.
The Bruins welcomed Maddie Santosuosso, a 9-year-old from Topsfield who is battling cancer, onto the ice at the end of practice. A young goalie, Maddie received some tips from Tuukka Rask as she faced shots from the Bruins.
Maddie was a part of the Make-A-Wish program, and the Bruins gladly helped make that dream come true by giving her the chance to save some shots from her favorite hockey team.
“It was nice,” said head coach Claude Julien. “As you can see, the guys didn’t even let me finish talking. When they saw her coming on, they started tapping their sticks. It goes to show you that those little things that we do are really important to those people and important to us. The guys just enjoyed it. They could have gone off the ice, they could have done whatever they wanted. Practice was over. But they all stayed to give those extra shots and to spend time with her.”
Once practice wrapped up, Maddie was treated to a pizza party with her favorite players, as well.
“It puts a smile on your face,” said Shawn Thornton. “She looks like she’s having a pretty good time. We enjoy it, too.”
Later, the Bruins participated in Cuts For A Cause, where they helped raise more than $118,000 for the Shawn Thornton Foundation, Boston Bruins Foundation and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.