Human legend Dave Ayres filled in as emergency backup goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night. Ayres saved eight of ten shots, securing a big 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
Despite their team losing an important game in embarrassing fashion, Leafs fans at Scotiabank Arena gave Ayres a standing ovation when he was named the first star of the game.
The announcement of Ayres as first star came after the final buzzer but before fans left the arena. With a wide smile, Ayres skated onto the ice, where he was welcomed by a roar of applause from his fellow Torontonians.
Emergency backup goaltender David Ayres is first star of the game and gets an ovation from Leafs fans pic.twitter.com/5ARqtH1Re3
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 23, 2020
Ayres, 42, allowed two goals but made several big stops against the Leafs power play and Auston Matthews in particular on his way to the win. He also managed to put a shot on goal from 175 feet away.
Ayres played the game wearing the blue goalie mask of the Toronto Marlies, the AHL team for whom he drives the ice resurfacer.
Ayres spoke to Sportsnet’s Kyle Bukauskas after the game. “I was a little shocked,” Ayres said, “but loving it.” He laughed off giving up a goal to John Tavares, saying, “hey, it was a good time.”
“It was awesome. Time of my life out there.”
"It was awesome. Time of my life out there."
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 23, 2020
Ayers also sometimes fills in as a practice goalie for the Leafs. And that’s exactly what he’ll do tomorrow.
Ayres says he’s supposed to practice with Leafs tomorrow. He’s going to bring his game puck.
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) February 23, 2020
Absolute legend. Dave forever.
The man, the myth, the legend pic.twitter.com/qmhWXSavYj
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 23, 2020
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