Usually hockey spectators are asked to keep off the ice, but this weekend there was a very special reason why fans were encouraged to do the exact opposite.

New Yorkers love their hockey. From the playoff-bound New York Rangers to the minor league teams that help feed the National Hockey League (NHL), there's devoted fans of every level across the state... what happened in the Adirondacks recently, however, is bigger than hockey.

A New York state hockey team asked fans to help "paint the ice" for a heartwarming reason
A New York state hockey team asked fans to help "paint the ice" for a heartwarming reason (Adirondack Thunder via Facebook)
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Hockey Team Asks Fans to "Paint the Ice" in Glens Falls, NY

The Adirondack Thunder are a minor league hockey team that plays out of Glens Falls, NY, and like every lower-level professional sports team across the country, they include fun and interactive promotions to help build as large an audience at their games as possible. Last weekend, their "Stick It to Cancer" promotion included a very special experience.

For their "Stick It to Cancer" weekend, the Adirondack Thunder hockey team invited fans to paint the names of loved ones affected by cancer after the game on Friday March 29th
For their "Stick It to Cancer" weekend, the Adirondack Thunder hockey team invited fans to paint the names of loved ones affected by cancer after the game on Friday March 29th (Adirondack Thunder via Facebook)
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The Adirondack Thunder's "Stick It to Cancer" Promotion in Glens Falls, NY

On Friday, March 29th, guests who saw the Adirondack Thunder beat the Reading Royals were invited on the ice after the game to honor friends and family members who fought or are currently fighting cancer. At the end of the night, "Paint the Ice" saw nearly the entire rink covered in loving messages (below).

Adirondack Thunder hockey fans were invited to "paint the ice" during their Stick It to Cancer weekend
Adirondack Thunder hockey fans were invited to "paint the ice" during their Stick It to Cancer weekend (Adirondack Thunder via Facebook)
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Special Minor League Team Promotions in New York

In a world where minor league teams of every sport seem to go to (nearly) any length to fill seats, the heartfelt gesture to the community by the Thunder seemed to go a long way. While some teams might change their entire name for some press coverage, hockey fans in the Adirondacks had an experience they'll likely never forget.

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About the Adirondack Thunder Hockey Team in Glens Falls, NY

The Adirondack Thunder began playing in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) in the 2015-2016 season, and are an affiliate with the New Jersey Devils alongside the American Hockey League's (AHLUtica Comets. Speaking of hockey, take a look at what the "abandoned" former home of the New York Islanders looks like below.

What Does New York's 'Abandoned' Hockey Arena Look Like Now?

It's been almost a year since the New York Islanders played at Nassau Coliseum, and here are photos of what the "abandoned" arena looks like in present day.

Gallery Credit: Dan Bahl

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