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At his natural position, no one in the league was his equal. He was what hockey folks call a “stay-at-home” defenseman, a player who specializes in using his physicality, vision, and disciplined play to neutralize the opposing team’s offensive star. He had always been one of the smallest players on his team, but he compensated for his modest stature by playing with a bulldog’s tenacity. He was fearless and the fans loved him for it. Opposing centers hated his miserable guts, but to the people in the stands, he represented everything beautiful about the game.
Ohh, did I mention he’s eight-years-old? Gonna be nine in January.
Facing elimination, his team needed a big day from their shut-down defender. They had drawn the Rangers, the best outfit in the league, led by an astonishingly talented center who could seemingly score at will. Despite giving up six inches and two years to the Ranger captain, it would be his job to keep the great star off the board. If he could do it, his team had a chance. If not, the season was over.