Stephen: Zamboni driver hands Leafs worst loss in team history

Dave Ayres was the unlikely hero of the Carolina Hurricanes’ 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs in Toronto this past weekend when the 42-year-old Zamboni driver was pressed into service as the Canes’ emergency goalie. The Washington Post reports that Ayres, who also underwent a kidney transplant in 2004, got the call in the second period after goaltenders James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were injured. Ayres gave up two goals on three shots in that period before stopping all seven shots he faced in the third.

“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 said after the game. “It was awesome. Obviously, time of my life out there. I’ve been on this ice many times without fans, put fans in the mix it’s a whole different game obviously, but, hey once in a lifetime, I’ll take it.” WaPo notes that as the night’s emergency goalie, Ayres–whose day job is director of operations at Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre–was available to either team. Thanks to his appearance, Ayres is now the oldest goaltender in NHL history to win his regular-season debut.

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