The National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars recently brought their A-game to a highly anticipated game against an ambitious young team, making the dreams of one 10-year-old superfan, born with a heart condition, come true.
On Jan. 16, the hockey pros met Anderson McDuffie and his team, the EKGs, on the ice for a one-of-a-kind match, coordinated in part by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Fox 4 reports. According to the outlet, McDuffie underwent the second open-heart surgery of his life less than a year ago; after recovering, his biggest wish was to return to the ice.
The youngster was diagnosed at birth with congenital heart disease Tetralogy of Fallot and has bravely undergone multiple procedures during this young life for the condition, SportsDay reports. In the wake of the second open-heart surgery, all McDuffie wanted was to get back in the game – which he was ultimately able to, against his favorite professional team.
Fans filled the stands for the big event and cheered with excitement as the fearless kids took on the Dallas Stars.
“I think we expected it to be fun,” player Tyler Seguin said, “but not as much fun as we had.”
The EKGs gave the Stars a run for their money and “defeated” them in a 6-5 final score; McDuffie himself scored both the first and final goals of the game, as per SportsDay.
Ahead of the matchup, McDuffie’s mom, Loan, said that her sporty young son was feeling more than ready for the high-stakes game.
“I said, 'Are you scared to be standing up against all of these celebrities, these giant players?'” Loan recalls that she asked her son, according to the outlet.
“‘No, mom. They’re my people,’” he confidently replied.