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Man, 42, Pulled Out Of The Crowd To Make NHL Debut And Wins

Man, 42, Pulled Out Of The Crowd To Make NHL Debut And Wins

An ice hockey player was pulled out of the crowd during a match to make his NHL debut, and won.

David Ayres was sat with his wife watching the action at Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Canada, when James Reimer, the goalie for the Carolina Hurricanes, went down injured during a match against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 42-year-old is the on-call goalie in the area and was available to play as the third-choice goalie for either side, should they need him.

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But he was thrown into the action when the Hurricanes suffered a run of bad luck, losing their reserve goalie Petr Mrazek midway through the second period of last night's game.

After the first injury, the Zamboni driver began to get changed, on the off-chance he would finally get called in to help out. And that he did, playing 28 minutes and winning the game.

Ayres was pulled out of the crowd to help the Carolina Hurricanes to victory. Credit: PA
Ayres was pulled out of the crowd to help the Carolina Hurricanes to victory. Credit: PA

Speaking to the press after the game, Ayres, who also made history by becoming the oldest goalie in NHL history to win his regular-season debut, said it was surreal.

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He said: "I had a couple of text messages that told me to get in there. I hadn't seen the footage [of Mrazek's injury]. I was in the media room by myself and a guy came in and said, 'Get going. Get ready'.

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"It was wild, it was fun."

But as well as becoming a great pub quiz answer, Ayres was also paid $500 for his performance and got to keep his shirt.

He was the oldest goalkeeper ever to win his regular-season debut. Credit: PA
He was the oldest goalkeeper ever to win his regular-season debut. Credit: PA
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During the game, Ayres pulled off eight saves, letting just two shots past him. The Hurricanes won the game 6-3 and the emergency sub was named the team's 'first star'.

He later told USA Today that he loved every single minute of it, saying: "It was awesome, obviously the time of my life out there. Once in a lifetime, I'll take it.

"That second period was a little shaky, but I told the boys in the dressing room, once we come in for the third, I'll be settled down and ready to win this one."

And fortunately for the debutante, Carolina's Erik Haula helped calm him down.

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Ayres revealed: "He said to me, "Just have fun. We don't care if you let 10 goals in'. That settled me right down, and it was great."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Interesting, US News, Canada

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Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]