Make-A-Wish makes boy's hockey dream come true

Friday, January 13, 2017
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Chase Bass

RALEIGH, North Carolina -- Chase Bass can't ice skate, but he's a quick study, and the 7-year-old already knows he wants to play for the Carolina Hurricanes someday.

"I like playing dangerous sports," he said.

Chase attended his first hockey game in 2014 and became an instant Canes fan, but one player in particular caught his eye.

"He got an autograph from Jeff Skinner, and ever since then it's been his favorite player," mom Tonya Bass said. "So we went from not knowing anything about hockey to that's all he talks about, that's all he plays, that's all he likes."

Skinner also helped Chase along the way.

"I made him a card, and I went to the bottom to let them sign stuff," he said. "And he got me a picture."

So when Chase was diagnosed in 2015 with a rare white blood cell cancer, he wished for one thing -- a chance to see his favorite player and the entire team in action.

Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina made it possible Thursday, with a front row seat at practice and a street hockey match-up with Chase as team captain.

"He's pretty good," Skinner said. "Nine goals. I think I was plus-eight today, so I'll take that. Just seeing how much fun he had, and for us to play a small part in that is a pretty cool feeling."

Chase even shared some game day advice.

"He's got some good tips," Skinner said. "I don't know if I should share them all or the secret will get out."

Chase and his family will be watching from the stands Friday as the Canes take on Buffalo. The team signed him to a one-day contract consisting of free hockey gear and luxury box seats for the game.

"I think when the Canes found out about his passion and love of the Canes, it was an easy fit," Make-A-Wish's Bob Frazier said.

And the family couldn't be happier.

"The love that they show to their fans and how much they care about the community, it's not just about what's on the ice," Tonya said. "It's about what's on the outside too. It's about holding things together."