On Thursday, the Chicago Blackhawks took on the Winnipeg Jets. Goaltender Anton Forsberg was set to start in net, but hurt himself during his pregame ritual. With Forsberg out, backup Collin Delia made his NHL debut. However, in the third period, Delia suffered his own injury and had to be pulled.
That was when things got even more interesting.
Emergency goalie Scott Foster played the final 14 and a half minutes of the game. The 36-year-old accountant saved all seven of the shots he faced, holding the score at 6-2 in favor of the Blackhawks.
His relief performance in net for the Blackhawks was nothing short of incredible. But Foster’s postgame comments to the media might have been even more awesome.
Foster found out he would be backing up Delia when he was on the way to the United Center. “I was probably about a block away,” he said. “So, moments before warmup, roughly, give or take.”
“The initial shock happened when I had to dress,” Foster told the media about his reaction to being told he was going to play. “And then I think you just kind of black out after that.”
“I don’t think I heard anything other than ‘put your helmet on,'” he said.
Emergency backup goaltender Scott Foster makes his NHL debut. pic.twitter.com/2jY8zPFNRO
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) March 30, 2018
Scott Foster is one of several emergency goalies that rotate for Blackhawks home games, but his typical experience is often very different.
“I think I’ve done maybe 12, 15 games,” he said. “I’ve come here, usually I just head upstairs and watch the game from the press box, have a bite to eat, and head home.”
The reaction when Foster stepped onto the ice was electric, with Blackhawks fans chanting his name. “That’s something you’ll never forget,” Foster said. “You understand what’s happening and they’re going to have a lot of fun with this, you might as well too.”
Joel Quenneville had a slight different reaction, he laughed as Foster got ready to defend the Blackhawks net. When asked what he thought of Quenneville laughing, Foster said, “I would too.”
Foster gave Blackhawks fans plenty to continue chanting about, including stopping a Dustin Byfuglien shot. When he was asked what it was like facing Byfuglien down, he joked, “You just kind of brace yourself and hope for the best. He’s a big man and he can shoot the puck.”
Goalies getting unexpectedly injured isn’t anything unusual. But regardless, Foster had never imagined that he’d ever make it onto the ice for his NHL debut.
“There’s always a chance. You come to enough games, guys do get hurt,” Foster said. “You just don’t think that it’s going to happen to you. There’s a lot of games that are played every night, and this is a unique story still. So it’s fun to be part of.”
Playing in the NHL was a far cry from what Foster does day-to-day.
“I’m an accountant by day,” he said. “So a few hours ago, I was sitting at my computer, typing on a 10-key. Now I’m standing in front of you guys, just finished 14 and a half minutes of NHL hockey.”
As for what he would tell his friends and co-workers the next day, Foster quipped, “I made about 30 saves in a 1-0 win.”
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) March 30, 2018
When it came down to it, even if it was just for 14 and a half minutes, Foster had lived out his dream. Whether that was for the Blackhawks, or the Jets.
“From my perspective, this is a dream regardless,” he said. “This is something that no one can ever take away from me. It’s something I can go home and tell my kids. Then they can tell their friends and whatnot. Just a ton of fun and a lot of good memories.”
With a period to go, the Blackhawks up 6-2, the pressure should have been on to keep them in the game. But Foster enjoyed the experience for what it was.
“It’s funny, you’d think there would be a lot of pressure,” he mused. “But tomorrow, I’m going to wake up, I’m going to button up my shirt, and I’m going to go back to my day job. So, what pressure is there for me?”
What a night.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 30, 2018
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