With the 2019-20 NHL season on hold we are going to take an occasional look back at some notable “this day in hockey history” moments. Today, Scott Foster gets to play a game for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Before there was David Ayres with the Carolina Hurricanes, there was Scott Foster with the Chicago Blackhawks.
It was two years ago Sunday that Foster, an accountant by day, was forced into action as the emergency goalie against the Winnipeg Jets.
He stopped all seven shots he faced in 14 minutes of ice-time to help the Blackhawks hold on for a 6-2 win. You can see the highlights of his performance in the video above.
At the time of Foster’s appearance the entire thing was pretty unheard of because the NHL hadn’t really seen an appearance like this — a non-professional player forced into a game — in the modern era.
It all happened because of a series of goaltending injuries that left the Blackhawks shorthanded at the position. Chicago signed Foster to an amateur tryout contract the night before the game due to injuries to Corey Crawford and Anton Forsberg. He was supposed to serve as the backup to rookie Collin Delia as he made his NHL debut. Everything was going as planned until Delia was also injured early in the the third period, forcing Foster into the game.
His performance earned him No. 1 star honors for the game.
Because the Blackhawks were already comfortably ahead when he entered the game he did not get credit for the win. It was probably the biggest highlight of the season for the Blackhawks as they missed the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade.
At the time Foster’s performance was mostly celebrated and treated as the feel-good story that it was.
But when Ayres had to enter a game for the Hurricanes this season — and ended up being the winning goalie against the Toronto Maple Leafs — there was a very vocal minority that thought it was an embarrassment for the league and that, maybe, the emergency goalie protocol needed to be changed. It was eventually decided that no change needed to be made. Even with two instances in the past couple of years it is still a very rare occurrence that needs a very specific set of circumstances to actually happen.