TEWKSBURY (CBS) – The Woburn Tanners youth hockey team lit up the ice Wednesday night in their 5-0 win over Brookline. But it was the hues of blue on their black and orange uniforms and in the stands that made this victory one to remember.
"I love hockey and I want us to win all the time," said 9-year-old Gavin Jolly, who plays – and succeeds – with autism.
He predicted in his journal that they'd win their upcoming playoff game because his team supports him.
The young players decided to show Gavin just how much they really do.
Ed Jolly, Gavin's dad, was amazed by the show of support.
"Floored by it. It really meant a lot," he said. "When you first get that diagnosis, when you first hear those words, you're crushed. You think there are so many limitations. What's going to happen?"
Thanks to supportive teammates, patient coaches, and a caring community, the Jolly family watches their son soar.
"You saw, he has an ear to ear grin the second his blades touch the ice. He's having the time of his life," said Melissa Jolly, Gavin's mom. "So proud of my boy. He makes me proud every day. I'm proud to be his mom."
And Gavin is pretty proud to be No. 15.
"I love hockey because it's the best sport for me!," said Gavin.
And after tonight's big win, the 9- and 10-year-old Tanners will advance to the finals on Saturday.
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