Emergency goalie David Ayres made history on Saturday in the Carolina Hurricanes’ 6-3 win against the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
Goalies James Reimer and Petr Mrazek got injured during Saturday’s game, leaving the Hurricanes to turn to David Ayres, a 42-year-old emergency backup goalie and kidney transplant survivor, who was making his NHL debut.
Ayres is a Zamboni driver for the AHL Toronto Marlies and stepped into the NHL game. Just to show how out of place he seemed, Ayres was wearing Leafs pants and a Marlies helmet.
The emergency backup goalie is in!
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) February 23, 2020
Ayres gave up two goals on the first three shots he faced in the second, but settled in to stop all six shots he faced in the third period. In total, Ayres stopped eight of 10 shots and became the first ever emergency backup goalie to win an NHL game.
Marlies' Zamboni driver David Ayres beats the Leafs as the emergency goalie for the Canes pic.twitter.com/u1OTcH74Ad
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 23, 2020
According to the Toronto Sun, Ayres has filled in at Maple Leafs practices for the past eight years and has been the emergency backup on call at Scotiabank Arena for the past three years.
For those wondering, a standard pay agreement would call for Ayres to make $500 and keep his game-worn jersey.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 23, 2020
We’re guessing some might step in to give him a win bonus for his great effort.
Ayres said in his postgame interview he was “shocked” to go in but loving it.
"It was awesome. Time of my life out there."
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 23, 2020
He was honored with the first star of the game.
Emergency backup goaltender David Ayres is first star of the game and gets an ovation from Leafs fans pic.twitter.com/5ARqtH1Re3
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 23, 2020