Reading hockey’s equipment manager gets chance to skate with team

READING, MA (WHDH) - The Reading High School hockey team’s equipment manager got to take the shot of a lifetime Wednesday evening when he joined the team on the ice.

Chris McFarland, the senior manager for the Reading Rockets, has Down syndrome. With Wednesday being Senior Night, the coaches for Reading and opponent Woburn High School decided to include McFarland.

McFarland, known to his teammates as “Bear,” laced up his skates and joined both teams on the ice. After winning the faceoff, he skated down the ice and scored the ceremonial opening goal.

“When he scored that goal, he did just what every college, high school, pro does. They go by the bench high-fiving. It was wonderful,” said Reading Coach Mark Doherty.

“I thought it was awesome,” said McFarland’s teammate, Kevin Tobin. “It was a great atmosphere too, that was the loudest I’ve ever heard our rink. Even in all our games that was the loudest when Bear got called out. That was really special.”

Reading ended up defeating Woburn, 3-2. Woburn Coach Jim Duran said he is happy McFarland had a great time, especially since he has been involved in the school’s hockey program for years.

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