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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Young Avalanche Fans and ‘Luck Charm’ Will Attend Stanley Cup Finals

DENVER – This Avalanche playoff run has been nothing short of surprising for fans. But a thousand miles away, a 12-year-old fan in Saskatchewan, Canada, may have made the biggest impression.

“Alice was born at 26 weeks (premature baby),” said Alice’s mother, Christy Simard. “He has developmental delay, he has seizures, he has trachea because he has paralyzed vocal cords.”

Christie, sitting next to Alice in her Avalanche jersey, talks to Denver 7’s Jason Gruenauer on Zoom from her home in Saskatchewan.

“Who is this boy?” Christie asked Alice, pointing to her jersey. “Alex,” said Alice quietly.

Alex Avalanche Center is Alex Newhook. The two met while Newhook was playing in Canada and a bond developed.

Christie said of Ellis’ love for hockey and relationship with her “boy,” Newhook, “she was smiling from the start.”

Ellis attended his first AVS game to see Alex play in Edmonton in April.

“Alex knew we were coming, and as soon as they came out, he had to sit down and hit the players,” Christie said.

Later, Newhook called Ellis his “good luck charm”. He eventually snowballed into a GoFundMe with donated tickets, which brought Ellis to the AVS’ first-round playoff series, where he once again got a chance to meet Newhook in person.

Her mother explained how Ellis acts and reacts when it comes to hockey games in person.

“She lights up. She turns into a different kid when she steps into those rinks,” she said.

When Colorado made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, her mom had no idea if a GoFundMe second time around could work.

“It was within 24 hours that he hit the target,” Christie said.

The ball will be inside the Arena for Ellis Game 1.

“I have no hope of that,” she said. “I’m a new single mom in the middle of a farm raising my special needs daughter, and that’s something I could never give her.”

Christie says her daughter’s journey with her adopted team has given Alice something she hasn’t had much of in her young life — real joy.

“She doesn’t understand the magnitude of this, but I know it’s something she will remember for a lifetime and will change lives,” Christie said.

Talk about nothing less than amazing – a playoff race with a young fan along for the ride.

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