Zamboni driver pulled onto ice as emergency goalie helps Hurricanes beat Leafs 6-3
TORONTO -- A Zamboni driver who was forced onto the ice as an emergency backup goalie for the Carolina Hurricanes made eight saves to help carry the team to victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in a dramatic turn of events.
David Ayres, who works as a Zamboni driver for the Toronto Marlies, was serving as the emergency goalie for Saturday night’s NHL game between the Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto.
Ayres, a 42-year-old from Whitby, Ont., stepped onto the ice in Toronto Marlies gear and a Hurricanes jersey after Hurricanes goalies James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were injured during the game.
During an NHL game, the home team is required to have an emergency goalie in the building in case either team loses their goalies during the game for whatever reason.
The Hurricanes ended the night with a 6-3 win over the Leafs. The team celebrated Ayres’ NHL debut – and his first win – on Twitter.
“The man, the myth, the legend,” the team tweeted after the win.
This isn't the first time an NHL team has been forced to use an emergency goalie. In 2018, the Chicago Blackhawks called 36-year-old accountant Scott Foster onto the ice in the third period after both Blackhawks goalies were injured.
Scott stopped all seven shots he faced and was named the first star of the game.
Ayres was brought into action in the middle of the second period and let in two goals before the second intermission.
“We’ve got to block more shots, sacrifice even more and try everything it takes to help Dave,” Hurricanes forward Nino Niederreiter told Fox Sports during the second intermission.
“I know Dave’s going to come up big for us here.”
Ayers has previously served as the emergency backup for both the Marlies and AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, but has never made it onto the ice.
With files from The Canadian Press