In the NHL there is a rule that says every club must have a readiness if no regular goalkeeper can play on.
That's what 42-year-old David Ayres, who never made an NHL match, experienced tonight.
James Reimer started in the box for Carolina but had to be replaced injured after only six minutes. In came Petr Mrazek, who also injured himself halfway into the second period at the score 3-1 to the Hurricanes.
Then Ayres became the emergency solution."I was so nervous"
The Canadian had not played a match since 2015, then in the senior league ACH, and works everyday as an ice machine driver in Toronto's Marlies farmer team.
Ayres got a nightmare start and let in the first two shots, but played himself and saved eight of ten shots during his nearly 29 minutes. Carolina won the match 6-3.
- In the second period, I couldn't stop a puck even if my life was hanging on to it. I was so nervous. But during the break, I told the guys I would take care of it in the third, Ayres says afterwards.
- I was just trying to focus on my breathing and the fact that I actually meet these guys, Toronto, on their workouts quite often."Especially getting to experience"
He also became the oldest goalkeeper in the NHL's history to win in the debut.
- I love how the players took care of him and peppered him. It was special to experience, says coach and legend Rod Brind'Amour.
Toronto has now lost three of its last four games.
- I told the guys that if we didn't change anything in the game, it doesn't matter if they have an empty bag. We created nothing, says coach Sheldon Keefe.