It was a rough start to the year for Ryan and Karson Boettger.
After taking his son skating the day before, Ryan looked in his vehicle on New Year's Day to discover the five-year-old's hockey gear and Connor McDavid jersey (which his uncle gave him for Christmas) were stolen. The thieves also raided the centre console and took some receipts.
Ryan noted his own skates and work gear, which were in the vehicle at the same time, remained untouched despite being worth more than the boy's equipment.
"He's very frustrated with human beings right now because he couldn't believe that someone would take his hockey gear. It's a life lesson for the little guy," Ryan said.
The stolen items cost around $300.
Ryan took Karson to a couple local stores to replace his gear and his jersey. Later that day, he received a phone call.
"I was on Facebook... and had seen that Ryan had put post on there about a break and enter into his vehicle and that the people stole was his kid's hockey stuff," said Michael Kilbride, manager of Winner's Way Source for Sports.
"We decided that it would be best if we made sure that little boy had a Connor McDavid jersey, so that's what we did."
After realizing Ryan had already bought a new jersey, the store gave him a size up so Karson could grow into it.
"To have something so bad happen and then have the guys over at Winner's Way give him something so good, it gives him that perspective. He knows that not everyone is bad. There are people who are pretty awesome out there," Ryan added.
The theft was not reported to the RCMP.

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