Regular Guy Lives the Ultimate Hockey Fan’s Dream

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Photo Credit: AP / Kamil Krzaczynski

Can you imagine coming to work Friday morning and walking to the coffee pot to refill your morning cup of java? A co-worker casually asks, “What’d you do last night Scott?” You reply, “Not much. Just played a few minutes in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks.” That was Scott Foster’s story last Friday as he reported to work as an accountant for Golub Capital in Chicago.

“Wait, get outta here, you did what?” It only happens in commercials, right? The star player goes down with an injury. The coach turns to the stands, a spotlight descends upon you, 15 rows up in section 102. There you sit munching on a hot dog, mustard on your upper lip. The coach yells “Foster get in there!”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Well, it was almost like that. In case you missed the story last week, here’s how it all went down. Average guy, regular Joe, mild-mannered accountant Scott Foster found himself pressed into service as the emergency goalie in a game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center.

The National Hockey League(NHL) requires all home teams to have an emergency goalie on standby during home games. Teams generally carry two goalies on their rosters. Both dress for the game. In the unlikely event either team loses both of their goalies due to injury, the emergency goalie fills in for either team. Depending on the circumstances, the emergency goalie sits in the stands, the press box, or occasionally the locker room.

Photo Credit: AP / Mike Carlson

The only time in recent history an emergency goalie played in a game was December 31, 2016. Carolina Hurricane’s equipment manager Jorge Alves dressed as the backup goalie. Regular backup Eddie Lack suffered a game day illness and was too sick to play. Alves last played goal as a minor leaguer in 2007. Hurricane coach Bill Peters sent Alves into the game with 7.6 seconds left. He did not face a shot.

In the old days of hockey, when a goalie was injured another player would pull on the pads and play goal. Jerry Toppazzini, of the Boston Bruins, was the last position player to fill in as a goalie. On October 16, 1960, he played the final 30 seconds of a game against the Blackhawks.

Scott Foster’s time in goal may go down in history as more than just a footnote. The Blackhawk’s starting goaltender, Anton Forsberg, suffered an injury during pre-game warmups. Forsberg’s backup, Collin Delia, started and played into the third period. At 5:59 of the third Delia cramped up and was unable to continue. To the crowd’s delight, Foster entered the game with 14:01 remaining and the Blackhawks leading 6-2.

A 14-Minute Shutout

Accountant Scott Foster calmly skated to Chicago’s net and got a feel for the crease under his skates. With the crowd of 20,000+ shouting “FOS-TER, FOS-TER,” he stopped all seven shots he faced preserving the Blackhawks victory. Mobbed by his teammates, they would have carried him off the ice if they could have gotten him up on their shoulders.

In honor of his efforts, Foster was named the number one star of the game. In the post-game press conference, he seemed as amazed as everyone else at the rink that evening. “A few hours ago I was sitting on the computer typing on a 10-key,” Foster said. “Now I’m standing in front of you guys having just finished 14 and a half minutes of NHL hockey.”

The beer-league player will forever be a part of NHL trivia and the envy of sports fans everywhere.