Gophers hockey assistant coach makes holiday wish come true for youth player

Gophers goalie coach delivers Christmas wish

Gophers men’s hockey assistant coach Brennan Poderzay has helped grow the game of hockey by coaching kids over the years, but he’s never done it as someone’s Christmas present.

Finding the perfect Christmas present can be hard work, but 13-year-old Elliott Sikkink of Rochester got to live out a Christmas wish. A wish he told his grandmother Julia Briese, a wish she wondered how she could make happen.

Click the video box on this page to watch Alec Ausmus story on Elliott Sikkink and Brennan Poderzay as it aired on 5 Eyewitness News

“Elliott, when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas, his only wish was to meet or even just get a phone call from Brennan,” said Briese.

Brennan is the Gophers men’s hockey goalie coach, Elliott is a goalie, hockey is his favorite sport.

Briese wrote Brennan a letter, explaining the wish Elliott had, asking Brennan to be part of a Christmas present.

“The first person I went to was my wife, I thought somebody was messing with me,” said Poderzay with a smile on his face. “After there was no hesitation, it was how can we do this, how can we make it work for everybody?”

Briese arranged for some ice time with Brennan in Richfield and just days before Christmas, Elliott’s Christmas wish was granted.

Poderzay sent Elliott a surprise video, inviting him to a workout.

“I felt pretty shocked, I didn’t really know what to say,” Elliott said about receiving the video message.

Julia described Elliott’s reaction as, “I asked him, what do you think? What should I tell Brennan? He said, I can’t talk, all I can do is smile.”

Elliott and his brother Henry hit the ice for tips from Brennan. The workout lasted about an hour, but the memory will last forever.

“I don’t know what else to say, it’s just our Christmas miracle,” Julia said with a smile on her face.