With half of the second period finished Renee and I took Joshua down to meet Sean who works for the Lightning and he escorted us along with two other families down to the underneath part of the rink because Joshua had been selected to ride on the Sweetbay Supermarkets Fam Zam which looks like a Zamboni that has seats built into the top. Joshua was thrilled about going out on the ice. It is the first time we have ever been able to see the rink as the players see it with the stands full of people and all the lights. The crowd was filled with yellow shirts. It was really amazing and Joshua, in true rock star fashion, loved every single minute of it.
As soon as we were done we went back up to watch the last period of the game. It was a close finish but our Lightning won 6-5 over the Avalanche. They are undefeated at Hockey Fights Cancer Night since its inception!
Even though the game was finished and we won the best was yet to come. We all headed down to meet up with Sean again so he could take us down to meet the players. We settled down at a table in a room right down from the locker room and before long players began to come in and begin walking around talking to all the kids. We got a chance to talk to almost all of the team and get their autographs. Joshua was proudly wearing his lucky shirt that Steven Stamkos gave him last Christmas along with a hat from Mike Smith. He got Smith to sign his hat and when Steven showed up he came right over and signed Joshua's shirt to give it even more luck for the rest of the season. All of the players who came over were wonderful with the kids and really made their evening.
Joshua even got to meet the coaches. Assistant Coach Martin Raymond was an awesome guy and took Joshua over to meet Head Coach Guy Boucher to show him his "Boucher Impression". Coach Boucher was very impressed and even took a picture with Joshua.
The Lightning hockey players and coaches are an amazing group of people. They are truly a different breed of professional athletes and are ranked at the top in our book. Our heartfelt thanks from our family to the team. Go Bolts!
Tonight was a truly magical once in a lifetime kind of experience which we were lucky enough to be a part of, but we would trade it all for a cure.