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Norwood High’s Kacie Smith skates on with ailing mother in her thoughts

Norwood’s Kacie Smith, 17, says her mother motivates her to play hard, even when she is not in the stands.
Norwood’s Kacie Smith, 17, says her mother motivates her to play hard, even when she is not in the stands. photos by Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

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Kacie Smith’s pregame routine is simple and consistent. After the Norwood High girls’ hockey team wraps up its warmup, she turns to the stands and looks for her mom, hoping to share a smile.

“She just motivates me and makes me really want to play hard,” said the junior wing.

Karen Smith tries to make it to every game that she can, but her current chemotherapy has made that more difficult. She was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago.

Daughter Kacie has been able to keep up her play on the ice. She entered Tuesday’s Division 2 preliminary round matchup against Latin Academy with a team-high 32 goals and 46 points after leading the Mustangs to an 11-6-3 mark in the regular season.

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