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Blues’ road trip taking a personal detour to Yale

Jan 24, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

Mandi

The St. Louis Blues are in the midst of a four-game road trip, four stops in the East that constitute their longest trip of the season. They’ve decided to add a fifth stop, which becomes the most important one of all.

On Friday, the night before their trip-closing matinee on Long Island, the Blues will trek up to New Haven, Conn., and take in a hockey game, the Yale-Brown women’s match (7 p.m. ET) that will be better known as the “White Out for Mandi.” It is a night to honor the late Yale hockey player Mandi Schwartz, who died in 2011 at age 23 following a 28-month battle with acute myeloid leukemia – and whose fight inspired a drive to enlarge North America’s registry of potential bone marrow donors that began with Mandi’s teammates and spread well beyond the Yale community.

Friday’s game – which will follow an afternoon practice that the Blues have moved to Yale’s Ingalls Rink – will have the entire Blues team in attendance. They’ll also throw their support behind a young teammate. Jaden Schwartz is a 21-year-old St. Louis forward, and Mandi’s kid brother. The Blues drafted Jaden with the 14th pick in 2010, 10 months before Mandi died; he is enjoying a breakout season this year, with 16 goals and 35 points for a Blues team that stands in second place in the Western Conference and is widely expected to contend for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

In the meantime, Friday will be Jaden’s first visit to the campus where Mandi entered school in 2006, his first chance to skate on the rink where she played and to see her locker – which the Yale women’s team has kept intact ever since she took leave to fight her illness.

Jaden was able to attend the annual game dedicated to his sister because the Blues were serendipitously scheduled to be in the area; when his teammates heard of his plan, they decided they would all join him.

“A no-brainer,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong called it.

Friday’s game will raise funds for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation, and the Blues’ practice will be open to the public. In April, Yale will hold the sixth annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive, which has been held each spring since Mandi’s diagnosis.

More details on the event can be found here.

(Photo courtesy Yale Athletics)

  1. terrier92 - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Very classy. Wonderful support for a teammate

  2. bcsteele - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    A great foundation and I love the support here. True class by his teammates. Just another reason I love being a fan of this team.

    RIP Mandi. I can tell you Blues fans are behind Jaden as well. Hopefully this brings a little more peace to him.

  3. blues1988 - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    sad stuff. great idea by the blues tho, can’t believe the east coast trip and white out game lined up so well.

  4. thecheeman - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    That’s a hell of a nice thing for the Blues to do.

  5. purpleguy - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Impressive.

  6. nicofthenorthstar - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Awesome. The NHL is the class of professional sporting leagues, and the Blues have set themselves apart as an excellent example of generous, team first conduct. Hats off to the Blues organization and condolences to JS and his entire family.

  7. hockeyflow33 - Jan 24, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    Classy stuff Blues!

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