Alex Galchenyuk had a special surprise for his old friend Charlotte Rose's fifth birthday.
Rose, a Quebec native known as "Girlchenyuk" who met the Arizona Coyotes forward when he was playing for the Montreal Canadiens, was in Arizona as a guest of Galchenyuk's for the Coyotes game against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.
Rose has been battling Glycogen Storage Disease and myopathy, which affects her ability to create and store energy. She met Galchenyuk two years ago at a Hanukkah party hosted by Chai Lifeline Montreal, a charity for families with children with life-threatening or chronic illness, and they quickly became friends.
Rose began calling herself "Girlchenyuk" after the meeting, and she continued to follow his career even after he was traded to the Coyotes for forward Max Domi on June 15.
"They just clicked," Rose's mom Lauren Wodnicki told the Coyotes website. "She's not a fair-weather fan. We're Coyotes [fans] in the house now."
Galchenyuk didn't forget Rose either, sending her a Coyotes jersey with 'Girlchenyuk' on the back in December. He invited her to Arizona for her birthday Wednesday, then surprised her with gifts and a card and a shoutout on Twitter and Facebook.
Rose was inspired by Galchenyuk to start skating, even in spite of her chronic illness, and her mom hopes she can inspire people by playing hockey one day.
"She believes in herself that she's going to be able to play [hockey]," Wodnicki said. "I think that's really important, especially when you have a chronic illness, knowing that you can do it. She loves hockey, and she can do it."