FULTON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Hockey is known as the “coolest game on earth,” and apparently, they also have the coolest players.
That’s something a Fulton family found out firsthand when visiting their favorite team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, down in Florida this month.
What started out as a Father’s Day celebration turned into an adventure of a lifetime.
Eric Shear convinced his dad Todd to drop everything and fly out from Syracuse to Tampa Bay in less than a day’s notice.
“Life is about making memories,” Todd said.
And boy, what a memory they made.
The Shears stood outside of Amalie Arena in Tampa after the Lightning fell in game one of their semifinal series with the New York Islanders.
They were hoping to catch a glimpse, maybe a wave from Eric’s favorite player, Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev. And to Eric’s surprise, Sergachev pulled over.
“(Sergachev) said, ‘Do you want me to sign your jersey?’ And I said, ‘I don’t have a marker.’ I (then) said, ‘I would be happy with a picture.’ (And then Sergachev responded), ‘I got a marker in the back.’”
The experience was captured on TikTok and has since made its way to ‘viral status’ – capturing a great memory made and a dream fulfilled.
“It was a really great moment, that he could pull over and be such a sportsman, and be so humble after a loss like that,” Todd said.
“It shows a lot more than just hockey. A lot of people can learn from that,” Eric added.
Tampa Bay evened up the series Tuesday night with a 4-2 win over the Islanders in game two. Perhaps some good karma after making time for a dedicated fan who traveled from Central New York.
As for the now signed jersey, it is going up on Eric’s wall at home. Eric says he’ll have to buy another one in support of his favorite player.