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Original Issue

Third Time's the Charm

At the time, Brett Connolly was not trying to make, as he puts it, "the Internet explode." The Capitals' winger was just working through his normal pregame routine on April 15, when he caught sight of a young girl wearing a red jersey and a hopeful look. So Connolly did what he often does: He skated over and tossed a puck over the boards.

Kid gets a souvenir. Nothing novel about that. But hearts around the hockey world melted over what happened next. The initial puck that Connolly threw was intercepted by a man and given to a nearby boy. "You can tell she's so devastated," Connolly recalls. "I go and grab another one." Same result, even sadder. Exasperated, he finally whacked the glass for emphasis and connected. The girl—six-year-old Keelan Moxley (left)—clutched the puck and beamed.

Within days the moment had become the NHL's most streamed Twitter video ever, and Caps owner Ted Leonsis hosted her in his suite and began referring to her as the team's good-luck charm.

Days later, Connolly and his wife, Katrina, sent Keelan an early birthday present: an autographed stick, a mini helmet and a scarf, but no puck. She already has one of those.