The Espanola Express had a local hero in attendance at Friday nights game as the team and fans helped local cancer survivor Blake Bond-Crawford celebrate his 7th birthday. Although the Express did not get the outcome they were looking for, they did give the teams biggest little fan a game to remember as the team stormed back from a 3-0 deficit to a 5-4 lead, that saw a controversial goal allowed late in the third period with just over a minute remaining. The game went to overtime and Team Blake and the Express suffered an overtime loss to the Kirkland Lake Goldminers.
“The team played their heart out for young Blake and desparately wanted to get a win for their hero, but unfortunately could not hold on.” stated GM Chad Clarke. “His will and determination inspires our entire team and they rose to the occassion tonight in my opinion, but unfortunate circumstances sealed their fate tonight”, added Clarke.
Team Blake night had a three way purpose in front of the packed house, players, fans and staff celebrated Blakes birthday and everyone got to experience the feel good moment when the entire building was singing happy birthday to Blake before the puck drop. The celebration was grand and the teddy bear toss was also a great success as almost 100 teddy’s were collected for Blake to distribute to the children next time he goes for treatment at his childrens hospital in Ottawa. It was also very refreshing to see all the team Blake tshirts and hoodies running around the complex tonight as Blakes family were selling them as well as stickers to help raise funds for his expensive treatments and constant trips to Ottawa. All in all, other than the outcome of the game, Express staff feels this night was incredibly successful based solely on the smiles from young Blake, even if it was only for one day he deserves all the happiness in the world!!!! Go Team Blake Go!!!!!!!