Fans around Sid Watson Arena in Brunswick have packed the stands for years to watch their beloved Bowdoin hockey team. Celebrating with them after every goal. The same can be said of their newest follower and teammate Harpswell resident Lucien Hodell.
Sophomore forward Danny Palumbo said, "Coach Meagher kind of talked to us about the idea of having a kid, you know, come and be apart of our program and we said we're all for it."
The squad came into touch with Lucien through Team Impact, a non-profit organization that connects collegiate teams with children facing adverse or life-threatening conditions. Lucien was born with cerebral palsy.
"It's just a check. It's an opportunity to reflect to be grateful and thankful for what you're blessed with it and to also make an impact on somebody's life," said head coach Terry Meagher.
With team impact ties already established at the school, it was a no-brainer that Lucien be linked to the hockey team. A week after being adopted as a 21-month old from Haiti, Lucien saw his first hockey game in person.
Hockey just so happens to be Lucien's favorite sports, because "It's physical!", said the ten-year old.
Something Lucien got to see up close and personal as his role quickly expanded from one of the guys to coach.
Senior defenseman Ryan Carney said, "It was a pretty touching moment actually. I felt like, just seeing him come in and we had heard so much about him, but it was just great to actually see him and really be able to talk to him."
"You know, he definitely brings a smile to all our faces. He's you know, one of those kids that enjoys hockey, he loves life. You can tell with that big smile on his face," Palumbo added.
In a profession and realm that's so predicated upon success and championships, Coach Meagher said this is where he sees his biggest results.
"A lot of people think we just get caught up in the W's and the L's and the winning. And really, this is where I get my victories," he said.
The biggest reward though, belongs to #28, thanks to a jersey senior defenseman Tim McGarry gave him.
When asked what it was like to be apart of the hockey team, Hodell said, "It's amazing!"
"He's definitely a huge part of our team now. You know, since he can't walk or you know, play hockey, it's kind of like we're playing for him in a way," said Palumbo, one of those closest on the team with Lucien.
Like with any true team, these Polar Bears are playing for and rallying around each other.