Hockey player with cerebral palsy scores a hat trick, players from both benches pour out to celebrate

An incredibly heart-warming moment.

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Sometimes you get so caught up in the goings on of this sport that we all love that we forget why we love it in the first place. In all the discussion of trade rumors, contract talk, fines and suspensions, blah blah blah blah… you forget what really matters: Sportsmanship.

So forget all the bells and whistles of pro hockey for a moment and just check out this incredibly heart-warming video from New Jersey’s Lacey High School in which senior Eric Czaplinski nets a hat trick for his team in their annual Senior game. Czaplinski suffers from cerebral palsy, but he’s a huge hockey fan and this moment was truly a dream come true for him.

Check it out:

Incredible. How can you not LOVE this game? 

Kudos to Czaplinski’s classmates for making this incredible moment happen. The roar from the crowd literally gives me chills.

Another look:


Czaplinski, who couldn’t skate on his own a year ago, has been the team’s manager for four years and was invited by head coach Chris DiMicco to join the team for the special game.

“I used to watch him skate on Sundays,” DiMicco said. “My team would go up and skate on the ice with him, and over time, he got more comfortable on the ice. Next thing you know, he’s by himself.”
What Czaplinski didn’t know is that DiMicco devised a plan to get his manager some goals.

"It was one of those secrets that was right in front of him, but he didn't really know what we were talking about," DiMicco said. "He said, 'What's going on?' I went, 'Nothing, nothing.'"

Well… what went on? Something very, very special.