Zamboni driver turned NHL emergency goalie is the hockey hero we needed

Dreams really do come true.

David Ayres – the Zamboni driver for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies – saw his true hockey dream materialize, serving as an emergency goalie for the Carolina Hurricanes after two of the team’s goalies were injured on Friday night.

It’s an NHL requirement that the home team has an emergency goalie in the building in case a situation like this happens.

Ayres isn’t completely out of practice. He’s been getting in reps over the past eight years with the Toronto Maple Leafs and their American Hockey League affiliate, the aforementioned Marlies.

The Hurricanes were leading 3-1 when Ayres took over.

Oh, and by the way he’s no spring chicken.

Age really is just a number. And the story doesn’t stop there.

Ayres’ hopes of playing in the majors were squashed after an emergency kidney transplant in 2004.

This man literally defied all odds, leading the Hurricanes to a 6-3 victory.

As you might guess, Twitter was giddy about it:

Congratulations, Dave!

We look forward to you dominating the ice in the future – zamboni-style or goalie-style.