The Carolina Hurricanes relied on 42-years old emergency goalie David Ayres to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. It was the first time in NHL history that an emergency goalie got credited for the victory.
Welcome to the NHL, Emergency Back-Up Goalie David Ayres. pic.twitter.com/heoVxfcxnK
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) February 23, 2020
Hurricanes Emergency Goalie David Ayres Makes History
Injuries To Hurricanes Goalies
During the game, injuries to both James Reimer and Petr Mrazek forced the Hurricanes to use emergency goalie David Ayres in the second period of the game on Saturday night. With time winding down in the first period, Reimer sustained a lower-body injury after receiving a hit from teammate Jaccob Slavin in front of his net. He tried to give it a go but was replaced by Mrazek.
With the Hurricanes leading in the second, Mrazek and Maple Leafs forward Kyle Clifford were racing for a lose puck in the Hurricanes zone. The two players collided with Mrazek suffering the worst of it. While Clifford was given a penalty for charging, Mrazek was forced out of the game.
Ayres Saves The Day
Enter the 42-year old Zamboni driver. The beginning of his night did not start out well as he let two goals in on the first two shots he faced allowing the Maple Leafs to cut the Hurricanes lead to 4-3 going into the second intermission. From there he played well stopping the next eight shots he faced. Not to mention the team in front of him played rock-solid defense. But the night belonged to Ayres.
“It was awesome. Time of my life out there.”
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 23, 2020
However, this was not the first time Ayres was an emergency backup for the Hurricanes organization. He served as an emergency backup goalie on February 1st for the team’s AHL affiliate the Charolette Checks, against the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies.
However, according to Sportsnet, Ayres last competitive game came back on February 15th, 2015. He was playing for the Norwood Vipers of the Allan Cup Hockey League against the Stoney Creek Generals. In that game, he allowed 11 goals on 46 shots in a 14-4 loss.
It was a difference this time around for Ayres. For his efforts in Saturday night’s game against the Maple Leafs, Ayres was named the number one star. Ayres story is just like Chicago Blackhawks emergency backup goalie Scott Foster’s story, except the one difference, is Ayres got credited with the win. Foster only played the final period stopping every shot he faced.