PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - It was a picture of pure joy - Robert Barrie met his hero, Penguins winger Bryan Rust.
It was a product of the trip of a lifetime.
"I wanted to go for a while, but unfortunately, having ALS, it's a little hard to go on a holiday," said Barrie.
Barrie made the long trip from England to Pittsburgh with his two caregivers.
He lives each day with Lou Gherig's Disease, also known as ALS, so when he landed signed hockey sticks after the game, they immediately became his most prized possessions.
The Penguins superfan snapped pictures of his new prized possessions, a stick signed by Rust and another by team captain Sidney Crosby.
He then paid extra at the airport to ensure the sticks were shipped safely back to the U.K., but once he arrived, he found his bag but no sticks.
"It was heartbreaking because it took all that effort to go there and then that happened," he recalled.
Following a heartwrenching couple of days, and some publicity in British newspapers, Barrie's phone rang.
"I got a call this morning from British Airways and they eventually located the sticks," he said.
The sticks, while still in Pittsburgh, will make the trip across the pond to him and arrive just in time for Christmas.
"We're delighted to have worked with the airport to find Robert's ice hockey sticks," British Airways said in a statement. "Our teams are working hard to get them back to him as quickly as possible."
A happy ending to a hockey holidays tale.
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