Bryan Altman

Last week Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko won a trip for two guests on the team’s charter plane to Arizona and Phoenix on an upcoming road trip at the team’s annual Casino Night auction.

Related story: HIGHLIGHTS- Panthers Turn Back Blues, 2-1

This week, Tarasenko put his prize to good use and invited 11-year-old Arianna Dougan and her mother to join the team on their road trip in late March.

Tarasenko brought Dougan into the Blues’ locker room and gave her the birthday surprise in front of his entire team, prompting an elated Dougan to immediately hug Tarasenko as the rest of the Blues looked on with joy.

“I was crying in the background,” Dougan’s mom, Lorie Zucker, told the Blues’ website. “She’s so over the moon she doesn’t realize what she’s got yet. It won’t hit home until she gets in the car. This has been the best birthday ever.”

Tarasenko then told the rest of the team that it was her birthday as well and the entire squad sang Happy Birthday to her.

The Blues and Tarasenko’s relationship with Dougan dates back to 2015 when the pair met at the team’s Hockey Fights Cancer night.

Dougan was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was just three years old and has fought the disease on four different occasions over the last eight years. She is currently undergoing treatment.

(H/T – Sportsnet.ca)

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