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Short Shifts

Rangers' Garden of Dreams night features stirring anthem, many fist bumps

Kids took center stage for pregame ceremony that included youth players, performers

by Dan O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / NHL.com Staff Writer

Gianna drops first puck

NSH@NYR: Gianna drops puck on Garden of Dreams night

Gianna Henrickson drops the ceremonial first puck, and Maya Mason and Logan Riman perform the National Anthem on Garden of Dreams night at MSG

  • 06:36 •

The New York Rangers annual Garden of Dreams celebration was packed with heartwarming moments highlighted by a special performance of the "Star-Spangled Banner."

The night began with a moment of silence at Madison Square Garden to honor Detective Joseph Seals of the Jersey City Police Department and three innocent bystanders, Moshe Deutsch, Mindy Ferencz and Douglas Miguel Rodriguez who were tragically shot and killed last week.

For the ceremonial puck drop, the team welcomed Gianna Henrickson, a Make-A-Wish Foundation participant battling Rett Syndrome, which has her confined to a wheelchair. Henrickson wished to attend her very first Rangers game.

Clad in a Rangers jersey and giant blue Rangers hair bow, Henrickson was escorted out to center ice, high-fiving every player on the home bench along the way.

Tweet from @NYRangers: Big thank you to Gianna, Maya and Logan for getting us started off on the right note. @GardenofDreams | #NYR pic.twitter.com/TYZiLIrG5q

The Rangers also welcomed a host of youth players involved with the Garden of Dreams to stand with the team during the national anthem.

Tweet from @NYRangers: Tonight, we are so honored to be celebrating the impact of our @gardenofdreams Foundation by helping you learn more about some of the kids whose lives have been changed by their incredible work. Here's our starting lineup for tonight's game: pic.twitter.com/QANISB3iWu

Doing the honors before the game were Maya Mason, the sister of a Garden of Dreams participant, Rachel Mason, who has had 17 surgeries in nine years, and Logan Riman on keyboard, batting a rare condition that has caused him to go blind.

The duo knocked it out of the park, according to Rachel.

"It was defintely tear-jerking. My jersey is still definitely drying off from wiping my face," Rachel Mason said in an interview with MSG Network. "I was so proud of her."

Rachel Mason has gone three years without an operation, one of which was spinal fusion surgery, and is back training in gymnastics. She credits the Garden of Dreams for helping in her recovery and aspires to be an elementary music teacher in the future.

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