A hometown hero has been made. David Ayres, a 42-year-old Ontario Zamboni driver, was given the opportunity of a lifetime on Saturday after he was forced to step in for Carolina Hurricanes after both of their goalies were injured. It was a magical moment, one that seemed pluck right out of the silver screen, as Ayres geared up to play against the Leafs.
What made the night even more heartwarming was the reaction from the fans. It wasn't just Hurricane fans that celebrated the father of three's spirit. It seemed that everyone was cheering him on.
"I didn't expect the whole Carolina team waiting for me to get on the ice. I also didn't expect the fans in Toronto to be cheering for me," Ayres told Global News.
Although Aryes later added that he was worried that Toronto fans were merely celebrating the fact that him subbing in would give them a better chance at winning.
Ayres helped Carolina beat the Leafs 6-3 on Saturday night, offering up the perfect storybook ending to an incredible night.
Emergency backup goaltender David Ayres is first star of the game and gets an ovation from Leafs fans https://t.co/5ARqtH1Re3— Brady Trettenero (@Brady Trettenero)1582426532.0
After the game was finished, fans quickly flooded to Twitter to celebrate the hero.
"I'm ready to make emergency goaltender and Zamboni driver David Ayres an honorary North Carolina citizen after a courageous win. Amazing," wrote Roy Cooper, Carolina's Governor.
i don’t care about your favorite nhl player. MY favorite nhl player is david ayres 😌✨— miranda 🪐 (@miranda 🪐)1582551630.0
me watching david ayres interviews as if i haven't watched the game three times and all of the recaps and post game… https://t.co/6GxjdVz2Xm— krystyna (@krystyna)1582549404.0
"My new favourite goalie: David Ayres," added another new fan.
However, it wasn't just Twitter fans that were showing their support.
According to Global, back in his town of Clarington, neighbours have dubbed the goalie as a hometown hero.
The roar inside the Hurricanes locker room as David Ayres walked in post-game...you would have thought he pitched a… https://t.co/9rNHqCFEHJ— Kyle Bukauskas (@Kyle Bukauskas)1582426492.0
Congrats on your first NHL win, David Ayres!! https://t.co/aLqeQ738I8— NHL GIFs (@NHL GIFs)1582426239.0
Moments like these are rare, and it's possible that a Zamboni driver from Ontario could've made the history books over the weekend.