On Thursday night in the middle of a National Hockey League game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Winnipeg Jets, an unfamiliar figure in a No. 90 Blackhawks jersey stepped onto the ice at the United Center.


“Hey, who’s this guy?” an announcer joked. That guy was Scott Foster, the team’s emergency goalie, a 36-year-old accountant who hadn’t played in a high-stakes hockey game in more than 10 years. He played hockey for Western Michigan University from 2002 to 2005 and plays in an amateur league, albeit a high-level one composed of former college and professional players. His venue most of the time is not the Blackhawks’ United Center, with a capacity of 23,000.


Less than 15 minutes after he took the ice, the Blackhawks came away with a 6-2 victory, and Foster emerged a hockey hero, delivering a performance that left everyone who watched it in awe. Foster is one of a small group of “emergency backup” goaltenders who are kept on hand, usually in the press box or the stands, in the highly unlikely event both regular goalies on the roster are hurt or otherwise unavailable.


“Among hockey’s great quirks,” as Hockey News explained, “is that it’s the only pro sport with the potential for someone not on the roster to come out of the stands and actually play in the game.” But, “it takes a very rare set of circumstances to open that door.” Hours before the game, goaltender Anton Forsberg injured himself during a morning practice, according to the Chicago Tribune. Down to one goalie, rookie Collin Delia, the Blackhawks signed Foster as an emergency backup. Delia got hurt. Foster was told to put on his helmet.


So imagine his surprise when he learned that Delia, in the midst of his own NHL debut, had suffered an injury in the third period, and he was needed.


Source: www.washingtonpost.com