It may be cold outside, but here’s something that’ll warm the most frozen hockey fan’s heart.
On Friday we told you how one young girl with an incurable cancer had brought out the good side of hockey fandom, as hockey fans across the UK had used social media to send support and good wishes to Sheffield fan Amy Usher in her battle with throat cancer.
However, even her most fervent supports probably couldn’t have imagined just how quickly not just a hockey nation, but the hockey world would take up the fight.
There was a plan for Sheffield fans to chant Amy’s name in the 21st minute of their Saturday night match-a big local derby away in Nottingham (think British hockey’s version of Detroit-Colorado during the heyday of Draper v Lemieux and you’ll have an idea of the passions aroused.) It quickly spread to involve the Nottingham fans too, and…well.
That’s 7,000 people in the biggest arena in Britain chanting Amy’s name. In a frenetic derby between two teams chasing for the league title (the league is considered the premier competition in the UK) Sheffield won by a late goal which took them above their rivals, and the fans left no doubt about who this particular win was dedicated to:
However, it wasn’t just in Sheffield where Amy was given tangible evidence of the support from UK hockey. Down in Coventry, where the Blaze were playing Belfast, both sets of fans showed their support for a fellow hockey fan most of them only knew by name with a minute’s applause:
And in Glasgow, where Braehead were playing Cardiff in another table-topping clash, too, Amy was there in spirit, too:
In short, the UK hockey family was backing one of its own.
Since then, though, the support has spread worldwide. Former NY Islander and Sheffield Steeler Pascal Morency(probably best known to NHL fans for this preseason fight with Dion Phaneuf), decided that the support needed to go worldwide. So he created a video for Amy featuring hockey fans and teams all over North America and the world, from Zagreb in Croatia to Vancouver and Algeria to Angers. It’s one hell of a piece of work: