The Arizona Coyotes had one extra body to account for on their road trip to face the Detroit Red Wings. It wasn’t a recently acquired player, however. It was 14-year-old superfan and cancer survivor Will Pogue.

Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet invited Pogue to join the team for their Nov. 13 game, which also happened to be Detroit’s Hockey Fights Cancer night.

Pogue, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 3, beat cancer early in life and Tocchet wanted to give him the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel with his favorite NHL team.



Once Pogue arrived in Detroit, he took in the morning skate from the bench wearing his personalized jersey signed by members of the team.



He got to bump fists with players as they made their way to the ice.



He even got to hang out in the locker room with the guys, where he received a restaurant recommendation from defenseman Jason Demers.



He also checked out the team’s sticks with captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson.



But, Pogue’s shining moment came when he addressed the team prior to the game to dish some advice.

“Play a full three periods of hockey, hard,” he said.



The Coyotes couldn’t pull off the win, but clearly, the team won by giving Pogue an experience he’ll never forget.



Hockey Fights Cancer is an annual homage to cancer patients and their families. Founded in 1998 by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association, the campaign unites the hockey community to support those affected by the disease. The initiative gets an assist from players, coaches, officials, equipment managers, front office staff, corporate partners, and fans.

Each of the 31 NHL teams celebrate Hockey Fights Cancer Night in their own way, but they all feature lavender dasher boards and coaches and broadcasters will be wearing HFC ties. Players also wear special Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys and use lavender stick tape during warmups

The initiative benefits the American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society and the Movember Foundation provide a better quality of life for patients, caregivers, and their families.