In the midst of Saturday’s action, the DAWG Nation Winter Classic came to stop to recognize Nathan Abelein and his wife Merrelyn. The PUPS and Pros came to stop and the little PUPS took a knee in the front row to see the GIVING BACK up close. The pros from the Avs Alumni filled in behind them, including John-Michael Liles, Kyle Quincey, Aaron MacKenzie, and Yan Stastny. Teams from the eight other rinks filled in. Even the beer tent came to a halt. Nathan and Merrelyn accepted a check made possible by the DAWG Nation Winter Classic to continue their battle to get Nathan back to full strength. In a fitting moment of hope, Dave Tscherpel was able to present the check as a former recipient and survivor of cancer. With the crowd cheering, we all agreed next year’s DAWG Nation Classic must include Nathan getting back on the ice!
Nathan is described as one of the happiest and best teammates around. Always the first guy in the locker room and one of the last to leave. Always the guy that invites everyone up to the bar after the game (his team or the other) and the first guy to buy appetizers and the first round of pitchers.
Nathan came down with Covid the end of September and was admitted to the hospital on the 28th. He was put on a ventilator and had to be put into an induced coma. He was cleared from COVID but had a lot of complications including a collapsed lung during his stay at the hospital. He was then moved to a new facility to bring him off the ventilator. At one point there was no timeline on when he would be off the ventilator, but now things are going in the right direction. This is gonna be a long recovery. He was humbled and moved to tears by our help. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers and join DAWG Nation and the #nathanstrong team in rallying around Nathan.