Scott Foster is an accountant by day. But on the night of Thursday, March 29, Foster was so much more than that. He was asked to step in for the back-up goalie of the Chicago Blackhawks in a professional hockey game, making it the first time he has ever played professionally for the National Hockey League.
So how did a 36-year-old accountant get to play on hockey’s grandest stage? Well, Foster is considered an emergency goalie, so when not one, but two of the Blackhawks’ goalies were forced out due to injury, it was time for Foster to suit up and defend the Blackhawks’ goal against the Winnipeg Jets.
According to Hockey News, hockey is the only professional sport in which someone not on the roster may be asked to step in to the game. NHL hockey teams are allowed to dress 20 players, 18 skaters and two goaltenders. If both of the goalies are unable to defend the goal, then an emergency goalie is asked to step up.
That’s where Foster came in. Despite being on the team’s roster as an emergency goalie for 12 to 15 games this season, Foster’s never been asked to play in the game—so this was definitely unexpected, even for him!
“The initial shock happened when I had to dress,” Foster told reporters after the game. “I think you just kind of black out after that.”
Despite only playing in recreational leagues since college, Foster didn’t let the Blackhawks down. He managed to stop the seven shots that came his way during the final 14 minutes of the game. The Blackhawks wound up winning six to two.
And Foster received lots of praise on his ability to step up to the task.
“He was great,” defenseman Brent Seabrook told Boston.com of Foster’s goaltending. “I think the boys were doing whatever they could to help him out. He made some big saves. Fun night.”
Fans couldn’t help but be thrilled for Foster, too. Twitter was flooded with congratulatory remarks.
Considering no one scored on him, some—like Twitter user @AlexeiEmELITE—are saying he deserves greatest of all time, or “GOAT” status:
Even Jets fans like Twitter user @BB4animals were rooting for him:
Massive @NHLJets fan here. I wanted the Jets to lose when Foster went in. Average Joes like us need to catch a break sometimes.
— True North (@BB4animals) March 30, 2018
You could sum up the experience for fans, the team, pretty much everyone involved as “amazing”:
This is amazing. Between this and seeing the respect for Dave Jackson as he refs his final game in the NHL, tonight was a good night.
— Chris Vitali (@chrisvitali) March 30, 2018
While it is extremely rare that the emergency goalies are called upon to play, this isn’t the first time it’s happened. According to USA Today, the last time it happened was in 2017 when Jorge Alves, an equipment manager for the Carolina Hurricanes, stepped in for a total of seven seconds of game play.
Foster made it through about 14 minutes of game play, and no one was more astonished than him.
“A few hours ago I was sitting on the computer typing on a 10-key,” he told reporters. “Now I’m standing in front of you guys having just finished 14 and a half minutes of NHL hockey.”
And now, he’ll never be the same.
“This is something that no one can ever take away from me,” Foster told reporters. “It’s something that I can go home and tell my kids and they can tell their friends. … Just a ton of fun.”
Congratulations to the accountant-turned-hockey-pro. What an incredible night!