Joel Coulombe knows what it's like to be guarding the net when the other team is hammering puck after puck through the pipes.
That's why after winning his second shut-out trophy in the Nickel Centre Winter Blast tournament on the weekend, he felt compelled to share it with someone he thought deserved it.
Right after he was handed the hardware following an 8-0 win over the competition, the Atom player for the King Sportswear team skated across the ice and handed it to the other team's goalie.
“I told him he played really well and he deserved this because he didn't give up ... and I already have one,” Joel told his mom Natacha Coulombe after the game.
Joel knows what its like to be on the ice when his team is unable to keep up with more skillful opponents, and knows it can be hard to keep his chin up when the odds are stacked against him.
Natacha said she couldn't be more proud of her son.
“I'm lucky,” Natacha said, speaking about her son's kind ways. She said a gesture like this isn't really out of the ordinary for the youngster. He is a protective big brother, always wanting to make sure his little brother is included, and goes out of his way to bring a smile to others.
René Contois, an assistant coach with Joel's team, said Joel “is just a nice kid.”
“Plain and simple, he's just a nice kid,” Contois said. “It's nice to see that in a 10-year-old.”
While he isn't particularly loud in the dressing room, Joel has always led his team by example, said Contois.
When the young hockey player learned that his kind gesture was racking up all sorts of attention of Facebook and other social media outlets, Natacha said he couldn't be bothered.
“Why is this such a big deal?” he asked his mom. “I don't get it.”
The online image has more than 500 likes on Facebook, and was shared upwards of 200 times.