Hurricanes turn to Zamboni driver as emergency goalie — and win

TORONTO — The Carolina Hurricanes were forced to use an emergency goaltender in their 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night after both of their netminders left with injuries.

David Ayres, who works as a Zamboni driver for the Toronto Marlies, served as the emergency goalie, entering the game with the Hurricanes holding a 3-1 lead. According to, he allowed two goals on three shots in the final 8:41 of the second period before saving all six shots he faced in the third for a 6-3 win.

The 42-year-old Ayres was forced into action in Marlies gear and a Hurricanes jersey midway through the second period after Carolina’s James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were injured.

Ayres, from Whitby, Ontario, has backed up both the Marlies, the Maple Leafs’ American Hockey League affiliate, and Charlotte Checkers of the AHL in the past.

Reimer started, but left just 6:10 into the first period with a lower-body injury after Toronto’s Zach Hyman shoved a Hurricanes defenseman on top of him in the crease.

Mrazek came in, but also had to leave after a collision with Leafs forward Kyle Clifford while attempting to play the puck near the face-off dot in Carolina’s zone in the second.

Both Hyman and Clifford were given penalties.

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