BATHURST - The surprises just keep on coming for young Habs fan and Renous resident Erik Burke.
As you may recall, Burke got the visit of a lifetime in the summer when Youppi! dropped by the young man's household during the Canadiens mascot's scouting mission of Renous ahead of the Kraft Hockeyville game.
With the help of Brendan Gallagher, Youppi! offered Erik - who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of four - four free tickets to the Hockeyville game between the Habs and Florida Panthers at the KC Irving Centre.
Video: Habs surprise a young fan in Renous for Hockeyville
If that wasn't enough to send the young Montreal fan onto Cloud Nine, Erik - who celebrated his birthday on September 17 - was treated to another surprise on Wednesday when Youppi! showed up at the rink with an Air Canada pilot to hand him four free tickets to the Canadiens' home opener on October 10, along with round-trip airfare, ground transportation and accommodations for the night all courtesy of the airline.
For Burke's mom, Megan, it was a dream come true.
"I'm speechless. We certainly didn't expect any of it. They're kids who do things for other people and never ask for anything in return," she said of Erik and his sister, Violet. "For them to be receiving such a gift and such kindness from everyone - and especially people back home from the community, they've been wonderful - it means a lot. Thank you so much."
Erik considers himself to be a big hockey fan - he even has a full-sized net in his room - so it should come as no surprise that he's just a little bit happy with the gift he's just been given.
"I feel very, very, very, very good!" he exclaimed.
Luckily, Megan thinks she'll be able to smooth over any hard feelings from Erik's teachers if they're upset with him for missing some time in the classroom in order to make the trip.
"I think we can make it work," she cracked.
Can't wait to see you at the Bell Centre, Erik and family!