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HEAT REPORT - 05.11.18

Memorable night for Ollas Mattsson thanks to teammates

by BRANDON KISKER @kiskerbc / calgaryflames.com

It's a familiar theme.

Pro hockey players dedicating their careers to their parents, who sacrificed so much to make sure they got to enjoy the game they love.

Unfortunately for Adam Ollas Mattsson, his mother, Elizabeth, wasn't able to see what a fantastic young man, and terrific professional hockey player her son has become.

She passed away six years ago after a battle with cancer.

On Saturday during Stockton's Stick it To Cancer night - which featured a game against the San Antonio Rampage, and raised funds for a local hospital that specializes in cancer treatment - it was one touching tribute after another for the Swede.

Prior to the game, Ollas Mattsson walked into the locker-room and was surprised to find his lavender cancer jersey hanging there - with an 'A' on its chest.

"Credit goes to Andrew Mangiapane … that's his 'A', and he was graceful enough to give it up," Heat coach Cail MacLean said. "Adam is someone we have a lot of appreciation for, we know his mother meant a lot to him, and it was really appropriate to give (the letter to) a young man who carries himself really maturely (and) has demonstrated leadership qualities.

"Out of team pride, let's give him the 'A' and let him represent us."

That was just the start of a memorable night for Ollas Mattsson.

One by one, 10 Heat players came out to auction their special jerseys off to the highest bidder after the game.  

Curtis Lazar … gone. Andrew Mangiapane … gone. Jon Gillies … gone.

Stockton's fan favorite Ryan Lomberg … gone. 

But after signing their jerseys for the buyer and posing for a photo, a handshake or hug, they all stayed out on the ice.

Finally, the last jersey of the night and out pops Ollas Mattsson.  

'Do I hear $300?'

A shout emerged from the ice.

"$300," Mangiapane said.

'Do I hear $350?'

The nod came from the crowd.

"I had no idea until the bidding started and the guys started saying numbers," Ollas Mattsson said. "I was wondering what was going on and then it dawned on me."

'Do I hear $400?'

"400," Lazar said.

And this continued on until the auctioneer said, "SOLD!"

To his Stockton Heat teammates.

For him to keep.

"It is a crappy part of life and with Adam's situation losing his mom and stuff… I can't relate to that," Lazar said. "I am sure it is not easy. Mangiapane gave his letter to Adam tonight and (as a group) we bought the jersey for him as a little keep sake."

A shocked Ollas Mattsson stood for a moment on the ice before an embrace with Lazar and Mangiapane.

"It was a class act of the boys," Ollas Mattsson explained. "I have a lot of respect for these guys and it really means a lot to me. It's been six years now, so you get used to living with it, but you have tough days back in your bed crying all day."

"Life's not easy, but I appreciate my teammates, friends and family more. You take a lot more value of quality time with friends and family."

 

 

The Heat may not have been able to stick it to the Rampage on the evening - falling 4-0 - but they stuck it to cancer.

And for Ollas Mattsson, it was night that he'll never forget, and a night we know a mother's love still filled her son to the core.

And that jersey that will hang on the wall in Ollas Mattsson's house for the rest of time. 

That …

That's the 'thank you for everything' dedication from him to his mom.

 

QUICK HITS

  • After losing two big games to the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate Bakersfield Condors to start the season, the Heat were able to mount a comeback and beat them 4-3 on Wednesday. Jon Gillies made 32 saves in the win;
     
  • Speaking of Mangiapane, he pushed his point streak to seven games (4-7-11) on Wednesday against the Condors but saw it end Saturday against the Rampage. It's the longest streak of the season but is three-games shy of the team record he shares with Mark Jankowski ;
     
  • Forward Kerby Rychel scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season on Wednesday. He moved one ahead of rookie teammate Glenn Gawdin;
     
  • Despite going 0-5 on the powerplay on Saturday, Stockton's man-up unit has been one of the team's strengths, ranking ninth in the AHL at 22.7%.
     


QUOTABLES

"It was nice to get the win, especially with how the game went last time in Bakersfield, so it was definitely a good win. My success comes from my linemates and the whole team. They are making the plays and we are all working together." - Mangiapane credits his linemates for his seven-game point streak

 

"Special teams is a big part of the game. I know our powerplay scored two goals tonight and our penalty kill is coming up big as well, so it's definitely something we're holding ourselves accountable to and it's good to see both special teams' groups starting to click." - Lomberg on the special team's recent performance


"We came off a big win against Bakersfield, which felt good for us. I thought we were going to come out here with a big crowd and ride some momentum out, but we just weren't sharp enough. All over the ice we were a split second too slow. We kind of played down to their level. We poured it on in the third, but when you run into a hot goalie it is too little, too late." - Lazar on Saturday's loss to San Antonio


"It just shows that Hockey is just a game. The fact that we were able to get a lot of people together to raise money for a good cause because whether you like it or not, cancer effects everybody and that is just the way it is." - Lazar on the importance of cancer events in hockey


"I think that's it definitely something that has touched a lot of lives. Certainly, means a whole lot to many of those guys, so I don't want to diminish their effort. I know that it weighs heavy on some, especially not coming through on a big night like that so it's something that all of us appreciate the support and all the money hopefully that can be raised here and certainly happy it's for a good cause. We just wish the end product on the ice would have come out better." - MacLean on the impact of Stick it to Cancer Night


 
 

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