Viktor Fasth's injury became Zach Sikich's chance to dress for an NHL game.
Fasth suffered an upper-body injury during the Anaheim Ducks' morning skate prior to their game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. The late scratch meant that Jonas Hiller started against the Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Anaheim recalled Jeff Deslauriers during the afternoon from the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL.
Because Deslauriers wasn't expected to arrive in St. Paul until around game time, the Ducks signed Sikich, a local goalie coach, to a one-day pro tryout contract. The 32-year-old skated with the team during warmups and sat on the bench to start the game. Deslauriers arrived early in the first period and took his place on the bench.
The Ducks say Fasth is day-to-day.
Sikich said during a between-periods interview on the Ducks' TV broadcast that he had practiced with the team last year and that the players remembered his light-blue pads. He also said the players "embraced the opportunity for me to be in the locker room."
He told the Los Angeles Times that he received $500 and the jersey he wore, adding that he opted not to get the jersey autographed because, "I think it's cool the way it is, the way I wore it."
Sikich played in several minor leagues and made it as far as the ECHL, but never reached the National Hockey League. He played three years of college hockey at the University of St. Thomas.
"My dream was to have a 5-0 lead and play him the for the last 20 seconds to give him the thrill of his life," coach Bruce Boudreau said after Anaheim's 2-1 win.
It's about enjoying the moment. It's pretty cool to get that many people together and that excited about hockey to the point they really want you to mess up. They've got a ton of red jerseys and you have to sit back and appreciate people love hockey that much and you are the one out there who gets to play the game. Just try and stick with that respect for the game and also the mentality that for me it's just about entering the fight and seeing how long I can stay in it.
— Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller on what he expects from the fans in Calgary for Game 6