Blackhawks call accountant into action as emergency goalie

On this day: February 25
1977: The comedy "Slap Shot," starring Paul Newman and directed by George Roy Hill, premieres in theaters. The movie, which depicts a minor league hockey team that resorts to violent play to gain popularity in a declining factory town, received mixed reviews upon its release, but earned $28 million at the box office and has become a cult favorite.

When their goaltending numbers didn’t add up Thursday night, the Chicago Blackhawks made a calculated move and called in a 36-year-old accountant to protect their net savings.

Emergency goalie Scott Foster was called into action against the playoff-bound Winnipeg Jets after the Blackhawks lost both of their goalies to injuries.

First Chicago lost Anton Forsberg before the game even began due to an injury during a “pregame ritual,” according to Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.

The team then turned to recently recalled Collin Delia, but he left the game with 14:01 left after stopping 25 of 27 shots in his NHL debut.

Thus it was time for Foster, a married father of two from Oak Park, Illinois, who plays in two recreational leagues, to get into the game.

In the most competitive action Foster had seen since serving as a backup for Western Michigan University in 2005-06, he stopped all seven shots he faced over the final 14 minutes of the game to help seal the Blackhawks’ 6-2 victory.

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“This is something that no one can ever take away from me,” Foster said after the game, according to The Associated Press. “It’s something that I can go home and tell my kids and they can tell their friends.”

Following the game, the Blackhawks recalled minor-league goalie Jean-Francois Berube on an emergency basis. Quenneville said Delia was going to travel with the team for Friday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, but that Forsberg is likely out for the season’s remaining four games.

Due to a new NHL rule that requires teams to have an emergency goalie on hand for all home games, Foster is at least the second feel-good goalie story to come out of the league this season.

Vending machine worker and St. Louis Blues season-ticket holder Tyler Stewart dressed as an emergency goalie for the Blues in early December after the team’s backup goalie was hurt and a replacement from the minors couldn’t get to the arena in time for a game.

Unlike Foster, though, Stewart, a 25-year-old former junior hockey player, didn’t get into the game. Once the minor-league call-up got to the stadium late the first period, Stewart took off his uniform and pads and went back to his seats to watch the game.