A 36-year-old accountant made seven games for the Chicago Blackhawks in a NHL game Thursday night.
Yes, you read that correctly.
After the starter Anton Forsberg was injured, which coach Joel Quennville described as a "foreplay ritual". and the support of Collin Delia at the beginning of the third period, the Blackhawks turned to Scott Foster, an Nottorwart and married father of two, who plays in two recreational leagues. He signed a contract, put on his gear, and then strangely stopped all seven shots he faced.
"The first shock came when I had to get dressed," Foster told reporters following a 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. "I think that you somehow darken it afterwards."
In a postgame scrum with reporters, Foster estimated that he had 12 to 15 games as an emergency backup this season, which usually amounts to watching the game from the press box and eating dinner.
But not on Thursday evening.
"A few hours ago, I was sitting on the computer, tapping a 10-key," Foster said. "Now I'm standing in front of you, who have just completed 14 1/2 minutes of NHL hockey."
In honor of Foster's Night in the Spotlight, here is a brief overview of emergency gatekeepers, how often they are needed, and some cases in which they have actually made an impact.
Why do NHL teams need emergency response?
For each NHL game, each team is allowed to dress 20 players: 18 skaters and two goalies. So if one of the goalkeepers has a stomach ache or other sudden illness on the day of the match, that team will try to remember a minor league goalkeeper to assist him. And if that is not an option? Indicate: Emergency Goalies
NHL rules state that if both team goalies are squeezed out due to injury, a team "is entitled to dress and play any available goalkeeper". And more recently, the NHL has called on home teams to draw up a list of available goalkeepers who could play a role in both teams in an emergency.
How often do they play?
In a word: Rarely.
Jorge Alves, an equipment manager for the Carolina Hurricanes, was believed to be the first goalkeeper of the modern era to appear in a game when he adapted for the team last season. He spent seven seconds on the ice.
Others came, however, remarkably close. Eric Semborski, a youth hockey coach, moved in 2016 for the Blackhawks. Paul Deutsch, who owns an embroidery and silkscreen printer, was signed by Minnesota Wild in 2011. He told reporters that he had not played organized hockey since 1978.
Can anyone lead Foster's Night?
While there has never been a man-off-the-street situation like Foster, the Blackhawks had another pretty legendary situation for Emerson goalkeepers in 1938 – and in the Stanley Cup finals, no less.
The story as described by The Los Angeles Times and others goes like this: The Blackhawks were hired to play the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1, but their starting goalkeepers learned on the day of the game, that he had broken his toe in the last game. The backup goalkeeper could not come to Toronto in time. The Blackhawks were forced to sign underage Alfie Moore, who lived in the area.
Moore had been playing professional hockey at one level or another for a decade, but the phrase was that he had allegedly drunk that day
"As the story goes, Moore was selected at the Series, he was in a local bar, "wrote Brian Cronin in The Times. "There are several stories about how drunk he was, but the main part of the story remained that he was picked from a local bar on the afternoon of the first match and thrown into the Stanley Cup final."
Chicago went on to win the game 3-1.
Contributed by: Kevin Allen, A.J. Perez, Associated Press
Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or Twitter @Tom_Schad .