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NHL player Erik Haula pays tribute to daughter lost in miscarriage

Erik Haula returned to the ice one day after his wife, Kristen, suffered a miscarriage.
/ Source: TODAY

NHL player Erik Haula is honoring the memory of the child he lost to a miscarriage.

The Carolina Hurricanes player took to the ice Tuesday, just one day after he and his wife, Kristen Haula, learned they had lost their daughter during a routine doctor's visit.

The grieving athlete scored a pivotal goal that helped him lead his team to a 3-1 victory against the Montreal Canadiens. Immediately after the goal, he pointed his finger upward in honor of his little girl.

The following day, Erik paid tribute to her again by sharing a gallery of photos on Instagram, including an image of two hockey sticks decorated in remembrance.

"RIP 12/30/19" was handwritten across the sticks' red grip tape.

"Our baby girl gone way too soon. Mommy & Daddy will always love you and we cannot wait to hold you one day in heaven," he wrote in the caption.

Carolina Hurricanes player Erik Haula returned to the ice in a winning game just one day after he learned he and his wife, Kristen, lost their child. Gregg Forwerck / NHLI via Getty Images

Less than two months before, Erik announced on Instagram that he and Kristen were expecting, calling fatherhood a "dream come true." The couple planned to welcome their child in May.

In her own heartbreaking post on Wednesday, Kristen opened up about the couple's devastating loss.

"We are starting 2020 with our own beautiful little angel looking over our family," she wrote.

Though she'd felt "amazing" during her pregnancy, she explained that an ultrasound on Monday revealed her "sweet baby girl" no longer had a heartbeat.

"While it may be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel on some days going forward, and some may be harder than others to understand why this happened, the complete joy & excitement she has brought to us and those who love her will be with us forever," Kristen wrote.

"Mommy and Daddy know she is being taken care of in heaven," she wrote, adding, "'She was here for a moment, but left a lifetime of love.'"