We often use this cliche frequently, but all hell truly broke loose during Saturday’s game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes.
Hurricanes starter James Reimer left the game in the first period after Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman drove Jaccob Slavin into the net, colliding with Reimer. He exited the game with an upper-body injury and was replaced by Petr Mrazek.
Mrazek’s relief effort was ill-fated however. After coming out of his net to make a routine play on the puck, Mrazek was struck by Maple Leafs forward Kyle Clifford’s forearm, and was slow to get up. He stayed down on the ice for several minutes, before being escorted off the ice.
Since Reimer was is in no shape to return, the Hurricanes deferred to their last-case option.
Enter David Ayres, a 42-year-old zamboni driver who practices with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
The hockey world lost its collective mind to Ayres entering the game, and we’ve collected some of the best reactions here:
David Ayres just got a shot on goal and I've been a Leaf fan for like 30+ years so I was mildly shocked it didn't go in.— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) February 23, 2020
David Ayres coming into work on Monday pic.twitter.com/2Bf9ZoFOIE— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) February 23, 2020
“the leafs lost to their own zamboni driver in net” will be the new 1967 for years and years and years— dom luszczyszyn (@domluszczyszyn) February 23, 2020
42-year-old Dave Ayres will take the ice as our emergency back up goalie— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 23, 2020
Ayres served as EBUG for the Charlotte Checkers on Feb. 1 against the Marlies
someone sacrificed their jersey for Ayres pic.twitter.com/4OJFpiLwNa— Ailish Forfar (@ailishforfar) February 23, 2020
It gets said too often, but this will be a game that Maple Leafs, Hurricanes and hockey fans won’t forget anytime soon. Here’s to you, David Ayres.
More NHL coverage from Yahoo Sports