42-Year-Old David Ayres Dresses As Hurricanes’ Emergency Backup vs. Maple Leafs


After goaltender James Reimer suffered a lower-body injury in the first period of the Carolina Hurricanes’ game against the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night, and backup Petr Mrazek got banged-up when he skated out to play the puck a little past the halfway mark of the second period, 42-year-old emergency backup David Ayres got an opportunity to suit up for the Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Unfortunately for Ayres, the Maple Leafs scored on him just eight seconds after he entered the contest and on the first two shots he faced, but he was “lights out” after that.

In the end, Ayres, the ice-resurfacing driver of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs’ minor league affiliate, stopped eight out of 10 shots he faced in the Hurricanes’ 6-3 win.

The Hurricanes used an emergency backup once before, four years ago when Jorge Alves dressed in favor of Eddie Lack after he caught an illness prior to their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 31, 2016. The Hurricanes put Alves in for the final eight seconds to put his name in the record book as an NHL goalie.

The Chicago Blackhawks were the last team to play an emergency backup back on March 29, 2018, when accountant Scott Foster made seven saves on seven shots in the third period to preserve a 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

Reimer made a save before getting injured while Mrazek stopped 14 of 15 before he got hurt.

“It was awesome,” Ayres told “Hockey Night in Canada” postgame. “Time of my life out there.” He added: “I told the boys in the dressing room, once we come out for the third, I’ll be settled down and ready to win this one.”

Ayres, also a kidney-transplant survivor, was named the first star of the game.

Tomorrow he’ll be back in practice with the Maple Leafs, the very team he helped defeat.

“I’m probably going to get ripped pretty hard after today,” he told Fox Sports Carolinas after the game. “I guess I can take the game puck with me and show it to them.”

The Governor of North Carolina formally offered to make Ayres and honorary citizen of the State of North Carolina.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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1 Response to 42-Year-Old David Ayres Dresses As Hurricanes’ Emergency Backup vs. Maple Leafs

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Incredible story.

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