42-year-old emergency goalie earns win for Carolina vs. Maple Leafs
When both of an NHL team’s goaltenders get injured, that’s usually pretty grim news.
But for the Carolina Hurricanes, at least in the very short term, everything turned out OK. After goalies James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were injured for Carolina, the visiting Hurricanes had to call upon the emergency backup goalie (EBUG) in the building, 42-year-old Zamboni driver David Ayres.
It was only the second period, and the Maple Leafs were down 4-1.
Ayres gave up goals on each of the first two shots he faced, but saved eight more after that as the ‘Canes went on to beat Toronto, 6-3. Ayres got the win and was named one of the game’s ceremonial three stars.
According to NHL public relations, Ayres became the oldest goalie in NHL history to win his league debut. Ayres was 42 years, 194 days old as of Saturday night.
Because Ayres regularly works for the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he was wearing a Toronto Marlies helmet while beating the Maple Leafs.
In the long run, losing two goalies to injury isn’t all fun and games. According to The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus, the Hurricanes reached out to the Blackhawks to inquire about a trade for goaltender Robin Lehner while the game was still going on. It should also be noted that Carolina lost defenseman Brett Pesce to injury during this same game.
Still, an EBUG getting a win in an NHL game is something to smile about:
The @Canes emergency backup goalie (EBUG) tonight is 42-year-old Dave Ayres. Ayres served as EBUG for the Charlotte Checkers on Feb. 1 against the Marlies, and received a kidney transplant in 2004. pic.twitter.com/Bd36Jwv9yi
— Pace Sagester (@PaceSagester) February 23, 2020
The emergency backup goalie is in!
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) February 23, 2020
What a night! pic.twitter.com/cWMGSM5sLv
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) February 23, 2020
David Ayres tells @SNkylebukauskas: "I had the time of my life out there."
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 23, 2020
Me: “Did you hear what happened in Toronto?”
Carey Price: “I heard the zamboni driver’s going to win the Vezina.”
— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) February 23, 2020