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Cuteness on ice: Ref gives little hockey player a lift

Jan. 28, 2014 at 4:02 PM ET

little player carried to goal
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A goalie gets carried to the net during the intermission of a Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils game.

In professional hockey games, adorable moments are about as rare as an 11-year-old shooting a puck into a 3 ½-inch goal from 90-feet away. (That is to say, pretty rare.)

But a game between the Montreal Canadiens and the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 14 definitely waded into heartwarming territory when a couple of youth hockey teams rushed onto the ice for a 3-minute scrimmage during intermission. 

When one of the little goalies couldn’t quite keep himself up, he got a few boosts from some kind bystanders, and the cuteness was caught on video: After his first two falls, a kind cameraman helps him maintain his balance for a bit, then gives him a gentle push into the crowd of tiny players. And boom, down the goalie goes again (all that clunky padding probably wasn’t helping things).

This time the Canadiens' team manager of technical services, Richard Murray, saves the day by picking the kid up and ever-so-smoothly transporting him to his place at the goal.

“It was really cute and the fans loved it,” the Canadiens' minor hockey coordinator Stephane Verret told TODAY.com.

Usually the game’s referee will coach the 5 and 6-year-olds who play at intermission, but when he failed to show up for the match, Murray stepped in to help.

“Richard is a really nice guy and has a great personality,” Verret said. “He is always there to help.”

And the young players, many of whom have just started getting comfortable on ice, can use a hand every now and then.

“Some of them will struggle a bit but they still have a great time,” Verret said. “It’s cute to see them play here in front of our fans.”

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