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Manahawkin Boy honored at NJ Devils Game

Lucas Files, 12, of Manahawkin enjoyed the recent Hockey Fights Cancer night at the Prudential Center. (Photo courtesy of the New Jersey Devils)

STAFFORD – A 12-year-old Manahawkin boy was honored to drop the puck in a game where the New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 at the Prudential Center.

Lucas Files was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in October 2015 and received treatment at the Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Jersey and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He completed his treatment in December 2018.

Lucas was there as part of the New Jersey Devils Fights Cancer program. Among the highlights of the night, Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood wore a Lucas-inspired mask during pre-game warm-ups. Lucas is a huge Devils fan and Blackwood is his favorite player. Lucas received the helmet and a warm-up stick with HFC.

A red carpet has been set up for Lucas to walk to the center of the ice for the special puck handover ceremony – a clash between Devils captain Nico Hischier and Flyers’ Oskar Lindblom, himself a cancer survivor.

The event hosted by the New Jersey Devils was also presented by RWJBarnabas Health with the Rutgers Cancer Institute. Funds were raised for the Cancer Center of the Saint Barnabas Medical Center.

Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood wore a Lucas-inspired mask. (Photo courtesy of the New Jersey Devils)

The Devils also honored a special “hero among us” at Hockey Fights Cancer night. Christian Koncewicz, a 9-year-old from Middletown, is currently undergoing treatment for leukemia at the Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Jersey and Robert Wood Johnson Teaching Hospital. Christian, who plays hockey, football and baseball, is determined to win his battle with cancer.

The Devils held a mystery puck sale in the main lobby before the game. There were a limited number of player-autographed Hockey Fights Cancer pucks, which sold for $ 25. Ten lucky fans received a Golden Mystery Puck, where they will receive an additional prize.

In addition to the Mystery Puck sale, a limited number of Love Your Melon hats were sold in the main lobby of Prudential Center during the game.

Photo courtesy of the New Jersey Devils

The Devils and RWJBarnabas Health dedicated the refurbishment of the Clara Maass Medical Center infusion center to former Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment employee Dean Brzuskiewicz, who died after a courageous battle with cancer in 2020. The Devils donated the product of last season’s Hockey Fights Cancer night. on behalf of Dean in support of the Renovation, which will provide cancer patients with the amenities to help them through their treatments during their stay at Clara Maass.

“Hockey Fights Cancer is a tremendous campaign throughout the NHL and the New Jersey Devils’ commitment to embrace this initiative and help raise funds to fight a disease that affects so many people is extremely impactful,” said the Dr Steven Libuti, Director of Rutgers. Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health.

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