New Jersey Devils veteran Brian Boyle netted his first career hat-trick less than two weeks after announcing his cancer was in remission.
The 33-year-old centre revealed on October 24 that his chronic myeloid leukaemia, which had been diagnosed last September, was in full molecular remission.
Two weeks on he bagged a hat-trick – the first time he had done so in his 705-game career – to lead the Devils to a 5-1 win at against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.
To make the occasion all the more poignant, the evening had been designated as Hockey Fights Cancer awareness night in Pittsburgh.
Boyle said: “I love these nights, I really do. Just the initiative and seeing the survivors on the ice, being recognised. Sometimes you feel kind of alone and it can be a dark place at times during a cancer fight.
“It’s difficult but to be seen and…the support everybody shows and the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative, the money raised – it’s a phenomenal thing that the league and the PA [players’ association] does.”