Emergency Goalie David Ayres Named Honorary North Carolinian After Epic Win

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 16: A detailed view of the NHL logo on the back of the goal netting before the game between the Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs at Capital One Arena on October 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

David Ayres, the emergency goalie who stepped in for the Carolina Hurricanes in Saturday's 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, has been named an honorary North Carolinian.

Per ESPN's Emily Kaplan, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper bestowed the honor on Ayres in an official proclamation Tuesday:

"The Carolina Hurricanes are currently in a battle for a spot in the National Hockey League playoffs, which will bring greater economic prosperity and further our state's reputation of excellence in sports. ... David Ayres gave North Carolina hockey fans a memory that we will never forget. ... [He] proved to be the personification of 'That's hockey, baby!'"

Born in Ontario, Canada, Ayres is employed by the Maple Leafs as a practice goalie for their AHL affiliate. He also works as a Zamboni driver and is a kidney transplant survivor. He was the designated emergency backup and was forced into action during the third period when Petr Mrazek and James Reimer both got injured. 

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Incredible 😳 42-year-old zamboni driver David Ayres subbed in as an emergency goalie for the Canes and got his first NHL win! (via @Sportsnet) https://t.co/oUVajH4Upx

Ayres, 42, had never appeared in an NHL game prior to Saturday. He stopped eight of Toronto's 10 shots in the final period and was credited with the win.