Autism, muscular dystrophy can't stop high schooler from fulfill - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Autism, muscular dystrophy can't stop high schooler from fulfilling hockey dreams

Nick Gulch about to take the ice for his first game (Source: WTOL) Nick Gulch about to take the ice for his first game (Source: WTOL)
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

Sports can bring us together. It can provide an escape from reality.

For one Whitmer High School student, Sunday was a day he wasn't sure he'd ever get to experience.

But he's dreamed about it his entire life.

Nick Gulch has hockey is his blood.

He's been around the rink his entire life.

But Nick has muscular dystrophy and autism.

It's kept him from being able to play for his high school team.

But Sunday was different.

Whitmer held their annual autism awareness game, and Nick got his shot.

"It's his lifelong dream to suit up as a Panther and go out on the ice, so it's going to be an amazing day," said his father Jon Gulch.

Before the game, he thought the team would be wearing their normal blue jerseys.

But the team surprised him with a special treat.

He would get to be the captain for today's game.

"He kept asking me, do I get to play? Do I get my shot? Do I get to start? We kept telling him don't worry," said Head Coach Matt Bodeman. "Just seeing him today, his face lit up and he's just ready to go out there and our team and kids are so looking forward to it."

Not only was Nick the captain, and not only did Nick go out there, but he was in the starting lineup.

He was even introduced on the PA as "Today's Captain Nick Gulch.

It didn't take long for Nick to make his impact. In the first period, he got his name on the score sheet with his first career goal.

And you had to know, the kid who had been told he'd never play, wouldn't stop there.

"I always wanted to play Whitmer hockey," said Nick. "For Coach Bodeman to give me a chance, it was wonderful. I want to thank him for that, and let’s go win this game!"

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