Rangers fans rally to send grieving dad to Stanley Cup final

New York Rangers fans got together to help Bobby Ackerman attend Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final in...

New York Rangers fans got together to help Bobby Ackerman attend Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final in memory of his daughter Madison. (USA Today)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:08 PM ET

A group of New York Rangers fans rallied to help one grieving father forget his pain Wednesday night.

Bobby Ackerman, whose daughter Madison died at four months old April 11, was given a ticket to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final after fellow hockey fans pitched in to buy him a seat.

Before she was born and the first puck had dropped for the NHL playoffs, Ackerman hoped to attend a Cup final game at Madison Square Garden with Madison. He even bought a tiny Henrik Lundqvist jersey for her to wear at the arena.

“She needs this jersey,” the Long Island native told The Star-Ledger, “because when we go to the Stanley Cup final, I'm bringing her with me.”

Sadly, Madison died just as the Rangers were gearing up for the post-season.

Ackerman said in the playoff run was “the only thing keeping me from thinking horrible thoughts” after Madison’s death.

As word spread across social media, Sean Revell, who runs a Facebook page called New York Rangers Memes, decided to do something special for Ackerman.

“We all just said, ‘We need to do something for this guy,’ ” Revell said. “We agreed if the Rangers made the final, we were going to find a way to get him there.”

After the Rangers eliminated the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference final, Revell set up a crowd fund. Within days it collected thousands of dollars.

Donations came from fans of all stripes, even the opposition.

“One Kings fans told me, ‘Game 4, you guys can have it. I’ll be rooting for the Rangers that night,’ ” Revell said.

Ackerman was blown away by the gesture.

“I still can’t find the words,” Ackerman said. “I’m just your average guy who loves hockey. The hockey community is the best thing in the world. Without it, I don’t know where I’d be right now.”


Videos

Photos