After winning the Florida state high school hockey tournament a little more than a week ago the Marjory Stoneman Douglas hockey team had another big moment on Monday.
They had a chance to skate with — and lift — the Stanley Cup.
The Stoneman Douglas hockey team was practicing at the BB&T Center, home of the NHL’s Florida Panthers, on Monday afternoon as they prepared for the USA High School hockey national championship tournament in Plymouth, Minnesota later this month.
The other big surprise for the Stoneman Douglas hockey team on Monday was the word that the Panthers, along with airline Swift Air, are going to work together to fly the team to the national tournament.
“Swift and ownership said ‘Why don’t we put them on the team plane and get them up to Minnesota and back?’ ” Said Shawn Thornton, the team’s vice president of business, via the Sun Sentinel. “Very generous, very thoughtful of them. Today, we were just the people that got to relay the message. The kind hearts of the people behind the scenes is what really made that happen.”
The Stoneman Douglas hockey team won the state championship just two weeks after a mass shooting at the school killed 17 people.
In the Panthers’ first home game after the shooting the Panthers honored the victims with a pre-game ceremony that included an emotional speech from starting goaltender Roberto Luongo. Luongo resides in Parkland, Florida, the location of the school.
On Sunday the hockey team also had a meeting with Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.
Gostisbehere attended the school for two years.