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Coyotes' First Moms Trip A Memorable One

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes

This was more than just a typical visit from mom.

It was a full-fledged event.

In mid-December, Coyote moms traveled from all across the map to attend two games and see, behind-the-scenes, the pro hockey lifestyle of their sons.

For many years, now, the Coyotes have hosted the Coyote fathers. This year it was the mothers' turn. And, from all accounts, it was a joy for those who were able to attend.

"I've probably done like eight dads trips and never a moms trip," said Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski , whose mother, Paula, finally got a turn. "[My mom] has always wanted one; she was so fired up. It was fun for them to see our day-to-day, to go on the road for a game with us."

"My mom was looking forward to the trip all year," said goaltender Darcy Kuemper , whose mother, Sharon Lynne, attended.

The Coyote moms sat in on a practice at Gila River Arena on December 16 before hopping on the team's charter plane for a flight to San Jose, where the Coyotes pulled out a dramatic 3-2 win on December 17 over the Sharks.

"They got to go on the team plane and eat meals with all of us," said forward Nick Schmaltz , whose mom, Lisa Marie, joined the fun. "We all got to go out to dinner the night before the game in San Jose. My mom got to see what everything was like. It was a lot of fun, and we had a little bit more excitement in our game because of it."

"On a regular visit I don't really ever see my mom because she's with my kids, so she doesn't care about me anymore," said forward Derek Stepan with a chuckle. Stepan, whose mom, Patricia, attended, added, wryly, "She only cares about her two grandchildren. She'll [usually] spend the entire three or four days she's here on her typical visits just with them."

"With this, the moms were able to hang out with each other and develop some friendships and relationships," Kuemper said "They got to see behind-the-scenes stuff, travel with us, watch practice and things like that. There were a lot of cool [moments] for them."

The experience was extra-special, of course.

"It was a little present for them for all the work they've done for us," Schmaltz said.

"You dream of being able to take care of your parents," said forward Conor Garland , whose mother, Bridget, attended. "This was just something where we could give back a little bit."

"[My mom] means everything to me," Kuemper said. "I wouldn't be who I am without her. From her working so hard when I was younger, to her and my dad putting me through hockey and buying me that expensive goalie equipment."

"All of those early mornings and the late nights getting me to hockey tournaments and such. Always putting a warm meal on the table when she came home from work, the endless hours she put in."

Well said, no? Hockey moms know the drill. And where would the Coyotes be without them?

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