Hockey Fights Cancer and Stick it to Cancer charities always feature prominently around the start of the season, but for the Stockton Heat and Adam Ollas-Mattsson in particular, it took on a whole other meaning.
When the Flames drafted Ollas-Mattsson back in 2014, we soon learned that cancer had affected his life in a big way: his mom had battled breast cancer twice in her life, eventually succumbing to the disease when he was a teenager.
On Saturday, the Heat had their Stick it to Cancer night, raising money for the St. Joseph’s Foundation by auctioning off their jerseys.
When it came to Ollas-Mattsson’s jersey, his teammates had something special planned:
Touching moment after the game. Heat players chipped in to purchase Adam Ollas Mattsson his game worn jersey to honor his mother who passed from cancer just over five years ago #StickItToCancer pic.twitter.com/b2pOrEmx6w
— Stockton Heat (@AHLHeat) November 4, 2018
Both Ollas-Mattsson and Curtis Lazar were asked about the gesture following the game.
Via the Heat, Ollas-Mattsson at first didn’t realize what his teammates were doing, but it turned into a great moment:
I had no idea until the bidding started and the guys started saying numbers. I was wondering what was going on and then it dawned on me. It was a class act of the boys. I have a lot of respect for these guys and it really means a lot to me.
Lazar, meanwhile, explained how the moment came together:
It just shows that hockey is just a game. The fact that we were able to get a lot of people together to raise money for a good cause because whether you like it or not, cancer affects everybody and that is just the way it is. It is a crappy part of life and with Adam’s situation loosing his mom and stuff… I can’t relate to that, but I am sure it is not easy. Mangiapane gave his letter to Adam tonight and we bought the jersey for him as a little keepsake.