There was nobody happier for David Ayres Saturday night than his wife Sarah.
As the 42-year-old Zamboni driver lived out his NHL dream Saturday, getting called into action for the Carolina Hurricanes as an emergency backup goalie and earning the win, Sarah was cheering her husband on in Toronto and sharing her emotional ride on Twitter.
“I am the happiest, proudest woman on the planet because my human got to live out his ultimate dream,” Sarah tweeted after the game. “I’m also surprised I still have a voice.”
David Ayres has been a practice goalie for the Maple Leafs and their AHL affiliate over the last eight years. He had a kidney transplant 15 years ago and wasn’t sure if he’d be able to play hockey again, let alone make it to the NHL.
But there he was Saturday night, between the pipes in Toronto but playing for the opposition. He stopped eight of 10 shots in the Hurricanes’ 6-3 win and was named the game’s first star.
“That’s my baby!!!!!” Sarah Ayres tweeted.
David was sitting with his wife when starting Hurricanes goalie James Reimer got hurt, prompting David to head downstairs to get dressed in case he was needed. Then Petr Mrazek also got hurt.
“Scotia Bank Arena is a pretty lonely place when you’re watching the game on your own,” Sarah wrote.
As David entered the game, Sarah couldn’t contain her excitement. “F–K ME!!!!” she tweeted.
David went on to become the oldest goaltender in NHL history to win his regular-season debut, his biggest fan cheering him on the whole way.