Score! Hockey Team Celebrates Goal by Senior With Down Syndrome | NECN
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Score! Hockey Team Celebrates Goal by Senior With Down Syndrome

The game against Woburn Memorial High School at Burbank Ice Arena was one for the books

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hockey players at Reading Memorial High School in Massachusetts are proud of their manager, Chris "Bear" McFarland. He has Down syndrome, but he doesn't let that stop him from being part of the team. Wednesday night, he had the opportunity to score his first goal.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017)

    A senior at Reading Memorial High School in Massachusetts got a chance to live out his dream Wednesday night when he played in his school's hockey game.

    The game against Woburn Memorial High School at Burbank Ice Arena was one for the books.

    "I got a goal," said Chris McFarland, who's also known to his friends as Bear. "It was amazing."

    Not only was it a night he'll remember, it's also a night his friends say they'll always cherish.

    "Last night was the first night I got to start with the team, and I got to start with one of my buddies, Bear," said senior Michael Creamer. "I gave him the assist to score his first goal ever, and it was probably one of the greatest moments of my whole hockey career."

    McFarland has been managing the boy's hockey team for years.

    "I just help out," said McFarland.

    His help goes beyond filling water bottles.

    "He just keeps everybody in good spirits," said Nick Miele. "We're helping him out and he helps us out emotionally."

    McFarland has Down syndrome, but he doesn't let that stop him from being part of the team, and the team doesn't think any less of him because of it.

    "I love him," said Creamer. "He always puts a smile on my face."

    "He's a great motivator for the players. The players love him and take care of him," said Tom Zaya, the assistant principal of athletics and student activities.

    Players said they'll never forget sharing the ice with Bear.

    "Being on the ice with him was really cool, and hugging him after the goal," said Kevin Tobin. "He was really pumped. He knew what to do."

    "Our coach did a great job organizing that along with the Woburn coach," said Zaya. "It was unbelievable. I was in tears. It was just emotional watching him, our crowd, the Woburn crowd, all of the players on both teams were just fabulous."

    After scoring the first goal, which didn't count toward Reading's 3-2 win, McFarland went to the bench and gave all his teammates a high five.

    McFarland was given the game hat and game puck.

    "He was just so excited," Zaya said.

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