Phil Kessel hosts 24 child cancer patients Tuesday, scores hat trick

Kessel scored three to help the Leafs beat Anaheim. (USATSI)
Kessel scored three to help the Leafs beat Anaheim. (USATSI)

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Phil Kessel had one of the better games of his life on Tuesday night, recording just the fourth hat trick of his career, his second with the Maple Leafs. As good as he must have felt about the night, he surely made a lot of people feel even better.

Kessel rented out a suite at Air Canada Centre for the game against the Ducks so he could give 24 children suffering with cancer and their families a chance to take in the game. Wouldn't you know it, he pulled his best Babe Ruth impression and gave the kids a treat on the ice as well.

Photos from the game and the families enjoying themselves are simply heart-warming.

Just awesome. Considering Kessel himself had a bout with cancer, getting over testicular cancer as a rookie in Boston, it had to be that much sweeter for the children fighting the good fight, seeing somebody who persevered delight an entire arena with an electifying game.

Kessel being the quiet personality that he is, didn't speak publicly about inviting the kids to the game afterward and probably won't, he's not the kind to want that attention. However he should get some of it anyway; what a gesture made all the better with a hat trick. Cool story all around.

October as you likely know is Breast Cancer Awareness Month but it has grown a bit to simply be about fighting cancer. All month long the NHL is having Hockey Fights Cancer nights across the league, the boards turning pink in Winnipeg on Tuesday night and the Blackhawks had a touching puck-drop ceremony a few days prior.

S/t to Sportsnet

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