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Lyndsey Fry skates across Valley in honor of Arizona Coyotes’ super fan

(Arizona Coyotes Twitter Photo)

Arizona Coyotes’ director of external engagement, youth and women’s hockey Lyndsey Fry skated 96 miles across the Valley on Sunday in memory of one of the team’s biggest fans: the late Leighton Accardo.

Accardo, a Coyotes super fan, passed away at the age of 9 on Nov. 24 after battling Stage 4 cancer. The Coyotes hosted Accardo in 2019, signing her to a contract during the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative. She wore No. 49 for the Arizona Kachinas.

The “Skatin’ for Leighton” event raised a total of $71,869 in donations, as of 11 a.m. Monday. The money raised will go toward a scholarship fund to aid girls interested in playing hockey and to continue the memory of Accardo in the Valley hockey community.

Fry kicked off the roller blading trip at 7 a.m. at Phoenix Children’s Hospital along with Accardo’s siblings Larsson, Locke and LeAnne, before making stops at seven Valley ice rinks.

“Honestly, I’m really excited,” Fry said at the beginning of her skate.

“The fact that so many people are out here remembering Leighton, that’s the whole point of this. Just to make sure her legacy lives on.”

Fry’s 96 miles also celebrated the Coyotes’ 25th season in Arizona.

At each rink, Fry was welcomed with signs, balloons and many people cheering her on. She says it was important for her to stop at every rink around the Valley because of the community support each rink has shown.

“When one of their own is dealing with challenge, they all come together,” Fry said. “Despite all of the other struggles, they all come together and all the other links have been amazingly supportive.”

A couple former Coyotes, Tyson Nash and Shane Doan, joined in as skating partners for Fry in the afternoon.

Around 9 p.m., Fry concluded her 96-mile trek at Gila River Arena.

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