Markus Stewart and Bailey Monteith aren't related, have never met, and live in B.C. cities about four hours apart.
But ask 14-year-old Monteith, and he'll tell you they're brothers.
"Goalies are a brother/sisterhood," said the Kamloops Tier 1 Jr. Blazers player. "It's a tough position physically and mentally. Only a goalie can understand a goalie."
So when he saw a video of Stewart practising his goalie moves on a frozen puddle in Abbotsford last month, Monteith was surprised to learn that the 12-year-old isn't part of a team.
Stewart wasn't allowed to play full-contact sports because he has epilepsy. His condition has improved and he now plays ball hockey, but his true love is still playing on ice.
"He loves to put on the gear, he likes to sit on the bench and likes to play a little bit. You know it is a lot of money for him to play if he just wants to be there for the fun," his mom Chris Stewart, who has four other children, told CBC News. "It's an expensive sport."
So Monteith, who has played hockey for nine years, decided to try and help.
The teen launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $2,000 for a year of Stewart's potential hockey fees. That goal was reached in less than a week.
"I wanted Markus to just go and play without affordability getting in the way," Monteith told The Huffington Post B.C. in an email.
"I would have just seen ice," he said about the frozen puddle. "Markus saw a crease. That's a goalie."
Bailey Monteith, 14, who plays for the Kamloops Tier 1 Jr. Blazers started a fundraiser to help a fellow goalie. (Photos courtesy Cari Monteith)
'A wonderful boy with a beautiful heart'
Markus' mom said that camaraderie among hockey players is part of the reason her son loves the game so much, and Monteith's actions just prove that.
"He's a wonderful boy with a beautiful heart," Chris Stewart told HuffPost on Tuesday.
Markus Stewart, 12, was caught on video practising on a frozen puddle last month. (Photo courtesy Chris Stewart)
She said they're still deciding on what to do with the money that was raised. Markus currently plays "stick-and-puck" games at a community arena, and he'll play pond hockey in the spring.
"He just walks around talking about how he just wants to play," the mom said. "Nothing else matters. It's for the love of the game."
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