Last night the New Jersey Devils trounced the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 and most of the scoring came from an unlikely source. Brian Boyle, who has 109 career goals in 11-plus seasons in the NHL and is a few years removed from his most offensively productive time with the New York Rangers, scored a hat trick. And Boyle didn't just score three goals on a random night, it was Hockey Fights Cancer night in Pittsburgh—which came two weeks after he learned his chronic myeloid leukemia was in remission.
Boyle was diagnosed in 2017 after signing with the Devils—the diagnosis was made during bloodwork drawn for his team physical—and actually played in 69 games last season as he underwent treatment, scoring 13 goals and adding ten assists. But Boyle had never gotten a hat trick before. So, Boyle who literally fought cancer and won, celebrated that personal victory with not only a team victory and individual milestone, but on the night Pittsburgh had randomly chosen to celebrate the sport's battle against cancer.
It's a nice little reminder that in our current hellscape—go vote please!—sports are still capable of producing moments like this where you can stop briefly to say "aw, that's nice."
This article originally appeared on VICE Sports US.