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Short Shifts

Meet Scott Foster, accountant-turned-goalie for Blackhawks

Emergency backup gets into game after injuries, makes seven saves

by Dan O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / Staff Writer

Foster's emergency NHL debut

WPG@CHI: Emergency goalie Scott Foster preserves win

After Collin Delia exits the game due to injury, 36-year old emergency goaltender Scott Foster makes seven stops in relief to preserve the win

  • 02:48 •

Scott Foster lived every amateur athlete's dream Thursday. It was also kind of a nightmare.

Foster, a 36-year-old accountant from Oak Park, Illinois, got his chance to play in an NHL game, something he never thought would happen while playing at Western Michigan University. It certainly wasn't something he thought would ever happen as he played rec league hockey for the past decade.

[RELATED: Myers: Emergency goalie has 'ton of fun' | Blackhawks roll past Jets]

But hey, you never know.

"Who would have thought? You just keep grinding away in men's league [hockey] and eventually you get your shot," Foster joked after he became the story of the night in the NHL.

He stopped all seven shots he faced to help the Blackhawks, who lost scheduled starting goalie Anton Forsberg during warmups and backup Collin Delia with 14 minutes left in the third period, hold on for a 6-2 victory against the Winnipeg Jets.

Video: WPG@CHI: Emergency goalie Foster makes first NHL save

One of those shots came in terrifying fashion off the stick of Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who at 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds is a large man even by NHL defenseman standards. Foster, who copped to nerves but said he "blacked out" after being told he had to suit up, had a strategy.

"You just kind of brace yourself and hope for the best. He's a big man and he can shoot the puck," Foster said.

When Foster was pressed into duty, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville could be seen chuckling to himself on the bench as Foster passed him to head out to the ice.

"I think I would (laugh) too," Foster said. "I am an accountant by day. A few hours ago, I was sitting on the computer typing on a 10-key."

Emergency backup goalies, or EBUGs as they are sometimes called around the League, are just your average person with some hockey playing experience. They commonly attend games in case a team suffers some bad luck. But before Thursday only one EBUG had actually appeared in action, Jorge Alves of the Carolina Hurricanes, who is an equipment manager for the team and entered a game on New Year's Eve of 2016 for the final seconds.

This was quite a different situation.

"It's funny, you'd think there'd be a lot of pressure. But really, tomorrow I'm going to wake up, I'm going to button up my shirt and I'm going to go back to my day job," Foster said. "So what pressure is there for me?"

"What a moment," Quenneville said. "I had never met him before. I talked to him before the game. Nice kid. ... Opening day for baseball, but we had to go to the bullpen a couple times today. One of those interesting things you don't see very often. Both goalies played extremely well."

Video: WPG@CHI: Foster slides across to stone Stastny

Foster now has a story to share with his wife and two children, ages 5 and 2, not to mention his colleagues in the office. Foster said they may hear a different version of things, however.

"I made about 30 saves in a 1-0 win," he joked.

For his efforts, No. 90 was named the First Star of the game and awarded the team's belt in the locker room.

Tweet from @NHLBlackhawks: Tonight's belt winner... who else? Mr. Scott Foster! #WhatsYourGoal

It all came during a game when Foster was the second Blackhawks goalie to make his NHL debut, after Delia. It also happened to come on the night defenseman Brent Seabrook was honored for playing 1,000 NHL games.

Foster is now just 999 short of his new teammate. And he had the United Center fans chanting his name in the final minutes.

"I'm gonna remember this one for a long, long time," Foster said.

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