A Bruins fan was left overwhelmed by a wholesome gesture from her favorite player Charlie Coyle when she received a puck from him mid-match in honor of her mother.
The passion for sports does not end on the field. Some people carry it with themselves in every aspect of their lives. Hannah Carpenter and her mother, Shannon McCarthy, were also such people who lived and breathed ice hockey. Unfortunately, Carpenter lost the person she shared her love for hockey with when her mother succumbed to cancer. Though it was difficult for her to pick herself up and show up at their favorite arena, she did so for the sake of Hockey Fights Cancer Night. The night turned emotional when her favorite player, Charlie Coyle, threw a puck to her to add to her mother's memorabilia, reports Boston.com.
McCarthy was always an avid fan of the Bruins. She passed it on to her daughter and both of them became regular visitors to the team's games in their home stadium, TD Garden. Carpenter shared, "I fell in love the first moment I stepped into TD Garden. It was the most insane thing ever. And after that first game, I was like, 'This is what we're going to do together. We're surrounded by people all the time. But when we're in the Garden together, it's me and you.'"
The pair tried to catch as many games as they could in the stadium, but the one night they ensured their presence was during Hockey Fights Cancer, especially after McCarthy's diagnosis. She always donned her lavender-and-white Bruins sweater and cheered as loudly as possible for her favorite team. After fighting a tough battle for seven months, she unfortunately passed away.
Although she was initially hesitant to show up for games after her mom's death, Carpenter still arrived at Hockey Fights Cancer Night to honor her mother. Seeing her standing with a sign saying, "I fought for my MOM," Coyle hit the glass barrier and passed on a puck to her.
It meant a lot to Carpenter as she fist-bumped Coyle and began to shed some tears. The moment was captured on camera and has since become viral. "This is what my mom lived for — this game, this team and city and she knew how much Coyle meant to me. And it was just all of this emotion coming at once," Carpenter said. "I didn't expect it to get caught on camera. I was like, 'This is crazy.'" She added that her reaction was a result of getting overwhelmed. She missed her mom but at the same time, knew that she would have loved to be honored in this manner.
View this post on Instagram
She has now incorporated the puck in her mother's room, which the pair called a "Bruins Cave." The room is filled with years of memorabilia associated with the team. The room has been a site for all the victories and heartbreaks the mother-daughter pair witnessed as fans of the team. McCarthy followed superstitions in the room whenever things went haywire with the team. "If they started doing bad, she would be like 'Bye-bye, go sit on the couch over there.' And then if it got real bad, she was like, 'I don't know what to tell you—we're not watching this together anymore. You've gotta go upstairs,'" Carpenter said. "She was like, 'We have to cleanse this.'"
Coyle explained to the outlet that he did so because he was aware of the indomitable courage both mother and daughter showed in the last few months. "I know her pretty well," he said of Carpenter. "And I know she's had a tough stretch with a few different things and with her mom passing. I talked to her a little while ago and I knew she said she was going to try to get to that game. She knew it was going to be a big one and her mom would want her there. And, of course, when she talked to me about it, I encouraged her."