Sometimes, dreams do come true.
We all go through that phase, believing that we’ll be the next big thing in our favorite sport. Mine was table-tennis. A bit of a rare niche, but I never could quite smash it like the pros. Alas, I am left to live my dreams in my dreams.
Of course, it’s not always the end of the road if you don’t make it to the Hall of Fame. There’s a myriad of leagues ranging in skill level, and worst comes to worst, there’s always the ever-faithful beer leagues.
Even so, the dream never fades. Even as you dominate at your weekly Saturday game, that little thought creeps into your mind, “you could do this on the big stage.” More often than not, we never get a chance to prove ourselves. But that doesn’t mean it never happens.
Last weekend, Zamboni driver and Leafs practice goalie Dave Ayres got to live the dream. With the Carolina Hurricanes losing both of their goalies during their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ayres, the emergency backup goalie for Toronto, was called into action.
For those of you who do not know the rules, in hockey, both teams have two goalies: one in the game and one on the bench.
The sub is obviously there to step in if something ever happens to the main goalie. But what would happen if something were to happen to the sub as well? Apparently, the hockey pioneers thought this through quite well and decided there should be a 3rd goalie in the arena ready to suit up in case of an emergency.
Since this is a rather rare event, the third goalie is provided by the home team and can play for both teams, if he is needed.
Ayres was just enjoying the game in the media room when Hurricanes goalie James Riemer was injured when he collided with his own defenceman. At this point, Ayres was asked to get ready but never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that he would actually have to step on the ice.
As luck would have it, both of Carolina Hurricanes’ goalies get injured and Ayres gets called in. An Ontario native and practice goalie for the Maple Leafs, Ayres would have to embrace his competitive spirit and go against his hometown team. Just imagine being the away team and having to play with a goalie that gets paid by the home team.
When Ayres went into the game, the Hurricanes were up to 3-1 but most viewers thought the game would be a wrap. Well, Ayres stepped up big time, and prevented his home team from getting a win!
Viewers and all around the world were quite impressed by David Ayres’ performance and since he was in the net when the game-winning goal was scored, he became the goalie on the record and will go down in the NHL history with a win.
This is not the first time that this has happened though. Last season, Chicago Blackhawks were also forced to play with an emergency sub as well, named Scott Foster. Foster also played incredibly well but since the Hawks scored the game-winning goal before he was subbed in, he technically did not get the win. You can’t have everything.
Both of these fellas got to live the dream of every beer league player and will probably tell their stories until the day they die.
Currently, Ayres is enjoying the sweet life of a pro and doing interviews left and right.
He is a Carolina legend that lives in Toronto and will probably keep attending Toronto games. Let’s just hope that he can sub in for his home club as well and settle the score in the future.