What they’re saying about him: Hurricanes’ emergency back-up goalie David Ayres becomes a sports sensation overnight

Hurricanes emergency goalie David Ayres takes the ice, and brings the team to a win against Toronto.

What happens when both of the Carolina Hurricanes’ goalies get injured during the second period against the Leafs? Just throw the Zamboni driver in for the win.

David Ayres, a 42-year-old building operations manager at Mattamy Athletic Centre, and former Zamboni driver, suited up, came through, and brought the team to a 6-3 victory against Toronto.

“DAVE AYRES THE GOAT” the Hurricanes’ Twitter description reads.

Also, the Canes were also quick to jump on the merch game, selling ‘Ayres’ team t-shirts to celebrate the unexpected sweep against the Leafs. The team says that the former Zamboni driver will get royalties on the shirts, and that they are working to identify a kidney foundation that will receive a portion of the proceeds.

Rules and regs for the NHL states that every home team must have an emergency back-up goalie in case either the home or away team has both their goalies injured during the game.

An odd rule, perhaps, but a rule that lead to a game that will live in infamy.

After letting in two goals, Ayres ended up saving eight shots, shutting the Leafs out in the second period.

The game was inspirational for another reason: Ayres had a kidney transplant over 10 years ago, with a kidney donated from his mother, and has made a full recovery.

Even though Ayres is as Canadian as it gets, he may just have earned himself honourary citizenship in the U.S., courtesy of North Carolina governor Roy Cooper.

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David Venn

David Venn is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @davidvenn_

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