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Short Shifts

McAvoy surprises special needs kids with hockey gear

Bruins rookie defenseman teams up with CCM to donate sticks, skates, helmets

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

Charlie McAvoy may be a kid by NHL standards, but the 20-year-old defenseman has turned his attention to helping some even younger kids learn the game of hockey.

McAvoy was on hand at Smart Light Sports in Boston to surprise kids in a special needs program with brand new hockey equipment courtesy of CCM. Smart Light Sports provides kids of all ages and abilities with unique on-ice visual cues, including animated and game-like drills. The Smart Light technology incorporates overhead patterns projected onto the synthetic ice, giving players a tangible image to follow.

"I was talking to Joe [Dellanno] the owner of Smart Light Sports and he was kind of explaining exactly how the technology works and I was just really impressed by it,"McAvoy said. "It's an opportunity for kids, whether it be autism, ADD or ADHD who might not have the opportunity to come out and play hockey to get out there and really experience the game which is something that is super special because everyone should be able to experience this game which has given me so much."

Among the donations the kids received were sticks, skates and helmets.

"To come back here and hang out with these kids for a little bit and drop off some great CCM gear is special, it's always nice to do these things," McAvoy said.

"I'm really pumped and very very excited," 7-year old Liam O'Brian said. "The equipment is going to be amazing, just to have fun, practice and play with your friends. I love hockey it's my favorite sport. ... I was really surprised and excited when my dad told me the news (of the donation and McAvoy being there). I came here last year and once this year. It's really fun with the lights. It teaches you a lot of different things."

Smart Light Sports was founded in 2010 for athletes in need of a different way of training and practicing their sport.

"The kids are so excited to have the latest and greatest in sticks, skates and helmets from CCM," Dellanno said. "Combining innovative technology and equipment is a powerful force that will positively impact the lives of these kids."

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