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Short Shifts

Blackhawks invite boy with lymphoma to play goal

Chicago hosted 13-year-old fan at practice before March 1 game

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Just like he always dreamed, Riley Zimmer got to strap on his goalie gear and take the ice with some of the best hockey players in the world.

The 13-year-old with Burkitt lymphoma traveled from from Lethbridge, Alberta to play goalie during Blackhawks morning skate on March 1 at United Center.

Tweet from @NHLBlackhawks: Wish granted.While recovering from Burkitt lymphoma, Riley came to Chicago to spend a day with the team in conjunction with @WishIllinois. pic.twitter.com/Hoo2DnHvFEZimmer's wish was granted by Make-A-Wish Illinois, and with help from the Blackhawks, he and his family were given a tour of the arena, Blackhawks locker room and training room before their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"Today I woke up and got picked up in a limousine, then we got to drive around the United Center," Zimmer said in a video posted on the Blackhawks website. "Then … I got dressed and we went to practice with the Blackhawks."

During his practice, Zimmer chatted with Blackhawks goalies Corey Crawford and Scott Darling, stopped shots from the other players and posed for a picture with the team after practice.

Tweet from @NHLBlackhawks: Today's special guest at morning skate? It's 13-year-old Riley, stopping shots from his heroes. #MakeAWish pic.twitter.com/vjZHCQPowZ

Tweet from @NHLBlackhawks: It looks like Riley had a pretty fun morning with the #Blackhawks! pic.twitter.com/9HlFkyrPogAfter granting Zimmer access to their family that morning, the Blackhawks granted the last of his wish for the day by beating the Penguins 4-1.

"It means a lot," Riley's grandfather Fred Hawkins said while fighting through tears. "I watched him ... through what he had to go through and I was hoping this dream would come true."

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