Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
A 4 year old Binghamton boy got an early Christmas present on Monday...a chance to play hockey with his favorite Binghamton Senator....Corey Cowick.
But it wasn't a normal skate after practice...the two played sled hockey.
Action Sports reporter Gabe Osterhout has the story.
4 year old Mather Ling was born with Spina Bifidia, a disorder that affects the legs.
Peter Ling, Mather's father, says, "The legs don't fully form and you have limited use of your legs so with the help of bracing locks at the knees and the hips, helps him walk."
During his treatments in Philadelphia, Mather went to a sports expo where he quickly fell in love with hockey.
In September, he started playing sled hockey with a team in Philadelphia, known as the Hammerheads.
This week, Mather got an early Christmas present thanks to the 7th man program.
He got to watch the Binghamton Senators at practice.
And after, he joined Corey Cowick for a little fun.
"I've got to take my skates off and put my shoes on...is that ok? Can you wait for me a little longer?"
While he waited, Mather strapped on the pads, and got on his sled.
Cowick joined on a sled of his own.
"Are you ready? Yes!"
For more than an hour, Cowick and Mather made their way around the rink at the Broome County Veternas Memorial arena.
First, it was off to shoot a few, with the little guy offering words of encouragement.
"Oh, nice try."
Then Mather wanted to play a game of tag with the help of his dad.
"There he is...lets get him."
And maybe had the most fun knocking his new pal over.
"I'm gonna tip you over too!"
"Let's tip Corey over."
Then it was back to hockey.
"I got it...I got it...I don't got it."
When the time was up, Mather helped Cowick close up the rink.
Then the B-Sen signed a puck and said goodbye.
After it was over, it was tough to tell who had more fun...Mather or Cowick.
Cowick says, "I don't think I've had that big of a smile on my face on the ice in a long time. It brightens our day too."
Shelly Stover Ling, Mather's mom, says, "It was just so exciting to see him out there on the ice with Corey and just having a great time."
"He was just overjoyed...very excited...just his laughter...just hearing it was really good."
Gabe Osterhout, Action Sports