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Short Shifts

Coyotes surprise fan with spot in team picture

Devon Cordova thought he was just visiting practice @NHLdotcom

Devon Cordova went to Arizona Coyotes practice and made a new best friend in captain Shane Doan.

Through their partnership with the local Special Olympics organization, the Coyotes arranged for Cordova to visit practice Thursday so they could surprise him with his own jersey and the opportunity to get in on a team picture.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Devon thought he was coming to @GilaRivArena for an arena tour.But we had something better in mind.

Cordova, 20, is a football and basketball player, and became a huge Coyotes fan through one of his teachers who thought watching hockey would be a good way to help him overcome some of the obstacles associated with his autism.

"We had a little boy who just wanted to sit in the corner and not participate in life and was really missing out on a lot," his mother Lisa said. "The Arizona Coyotes brought this little boy out of his shell, so we live Coyotes daily."

Cordova got to meet all the players and coaches, but had a special connection with Doan, who he'd gotten a photo with a few years ago.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: .@GilaRivArena @LawCrouse @domingue35 @Bubzp11 @OEL_23 For years, Devon has held on to a photo of him and his hero Shane Doan.Doaner couldn't believe it!

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Devon & Doan quickly became best friends.#ShaneDoanBeingShaneDoan

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Devon made a lot of new friends at @GilaRivArena.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: ... and one best friend.

This won't be the last the Coyotes see of Cordova. He'll be in the house Thursday to see them play the Vancouver Canucks and cheer for his new best pal.

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