Nathan Schoenfeld thought he had his hands full bathing his twin 5-week-old boys on Monday night. Then his father-in-law texted him.
“Pack your bag,” Stan Wilson told Schoenfeld.
Wilson, you see, is the Arizona Coyotes’ head equipment manager. And backup goalie Anders Lindback had just suffered a leg injury. With about an hour to spare, Wilson turned to the club’s designated emergency goalie – Schoenfeld … who makes a living as a banker.
Article continues below ...
“I don’t know if I have the words quite yet,” Schoenfeld told the Arizona Republic after the game. “It will probably take a bit to soak in. Just go home and sit with my family and just enjoy the night.”
Schoenfeld showed up to the arena about a half hour before the puck dropped, but never entered the game — though he could have toward the end and likely not impacted the outcome, a 6-2 Coyotes win over Montreal.
"The way we played tonight, I though he (Schoenfeld) would have made it OK," Louis Domingue, who stopped 17 shots, told the media after the game.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Martin Hanzal each had a goal and two assists, helping the Coyotes complete a season sweep over the Canadiens for the first time in 36 seasons as a franchise.
Instead of playing tentatively with no real backup goalie, the Coyotes were aggressive, sending a flurry of shots at Montreal goalie Mike Condon.
Arizona capitalized on most of those chances, matching the previous three games combined with a season high in goals. The Coyotes had 13 different players notch a point and six different goal scorers.
Despite the scoring output, the Coyotes awarded their player-of-the-game championship belt to Schoenfeld, a 31-year-old who skates with the team during the offseason. He had Monday off from work due to the President’s Day holiday.
“Traffic was pretty good,” he told the Republic. “Luckily I didn’t have to break any laws to get here in time.”
"It was fun to see a guy sit in there after the game in his equipment and take it all in," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.
The son of former Coyotes coach and current New York Rangers assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld, Nathan played club hockey at Arizona State and signed an Amateur Tryout Agreement before the game.
He actually skates with the Coyotes’ alumni, according to the Republic, and was on the ice for a game last week. But his last competitive game was at ASU 10 years ago.
According to the Republic, every NHL team is required to give the league the name of a goalie in the club’s market who could dress in case of an emergency.
“I don’t think I’m game-ready but ready in case they need me to sit on the bench,” Schoenfeld told the paper.