As shared in The Globe and Mail newspaper, all National Hockey League teams must provide an emergency backup goalie for games that happen at their rink.
In Toronto, that goalie was David Ayres.
The 42-year-old Zamboni driver played hockey in his youth but never dreamed he’d get called in to an NHL game. Emergency backup goalies almost never do.
But last Saturday night, both goalies on the Carolina Hurricanes got injured during their game in Toronto and David, who was sitting at the rink, got the call.
He let in two quick goals but made eight saves. Stopped three attempts from Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews. And on the 40th anniversary of the night the U.S. Hockey Team won gold in the game that inspired the movie Miracle, Ayres became the first emergency backup goalie to help win a game and the oldest to step into an NHL game for the first time.
Dreams can come true.
For all those actors who get the understudy role, the second-string players on the basketball or volleyball team, the cheer team members who train hard but don’t make the mat, the Irish dancers who are subs for the ceili team, know this. Believe in yourself. Do what you love. Put in the work. And one day, when you are called up to the challenge in life, you will do what you were always meant to do. You will shine.
If a 42-year-old Zamboni driver who had a kidney transplant 15 years ago can help win an NHL hockey game, what can the rest of us do? Anything is possible.