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'Once he received that stick, he just freaked out'

Young Lucas Sousa had a night to remember at the Bell Centre earlier this week alongside his father, Derek

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - Lucas Sousa's reaction to receiving a Shea Weber autographed stick during Wednesday night's pregame warmup was beautiful.

The nine-year-old Rivière-des-Prairies resident shed tears of pure joy after being given a truly special gift from his favorite Canadiens player.

It was the definition of raw emotion.

Lucas also left the arena with a few more souvenirs as well, including a puck from a member of the club's training staff and another puck from Ilya Kovalchuk himself.

That's a pretty good haul for one warmup session, wouldn't you say?

Photo Credit: Therese Sousa

As for the backstory, it goes to show you that a little creativity - combined with some good luck - can sometimes pay serious dividends.

Lucas was insistent on creating a sign asking a few Habs to grant three of his wishes, and a couple of them ended up coming true.

Photo Credit: Therese Sousa

When Weber dropped the stick off, though, Lucas was simply overwhelmed. And so was his father, Derek.

"Just thinking about it makes me a little emotional myself. He's been playing hockey since he was three years old - going to a lot of practices and games on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He's just an emotional kid, and once he received that stick, he just freaked out," said Mr. Sousa, who accompanied Lucas to his first game of the season. "He couldn't believe it. He never thought he'd actually get a stick, especially coming from Shea Weber. It's just very special."

Photo Credit: Therese Sousa

Could an awesome moment like that possibly get even sweeter? You better believe it.

Lucas' tears drew the attention of a concerned youngster with a rather cool connection to the Canadiens.

It was two-year-old Barrett Petry, the second-eldest son of defenseman Jeff Petry, who came by to make sure everything was alright.

Jeff's wife, Julie, wasn't at all surprised to see Barrett spring into action.

"Whenever anyone cries, Bear runs over to see if everything's ok," said Petry. "I thought it was cute that he noticed it with that boy, too."

Back at home, Lucas' mother, Therese, couldn't believe the response to the Twitter and Instagram posts of her boy.

"When Lucas cried, he really, really felt the moment," said Mrs. Sousa, reflecting on Wednesday night's events in downtown Montreal. "He reached so many peoples' hearts. He even made me cry."

Therese couldn't be prouder of Lucas and his accomplishments.

A Grade 4 student at Dante Elementary School, he's apparently a sniper for the Atom A St-Donat/R.D.P. Dragons with a bright future ahead of him.

"My son has the biggest heart in the world," praised Mrs. Sousa. "He's a really, really good kid. He gets along with everybody. He's an amazing kid, and he's very, very hard-working."

Photo Credit: Therese Sousa

Even though the Sousas' beloved Canadiens fell to the Chicago Blackhawks that night, this father-son duo left the rink as winners.

"That moment just did it for us. That's a win," said Mr. Sousa. "Never mind the score. Just the moment itself. It's a big one. Just the whole moment together was amazing."

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