Why no one has made a cheesy sports movie about an emergency goalie getting to achieve his dream for one night is a mystery to me, because emergency goalies are some of the best cheesy sports stories that can regularly happen in real life. A 31-year-old bank manager who played club hockey at Arizona State, suiting up for the Coyotes! A former video scout who failed to walk onto his college hockey team, signing a one-day contract for the Sabres! These stories are cheesy as hell, nothing really happens in them, and they’re still fucking great!
The Hurricanes gave us one last night. With backup goalie Eddie Lack falling ill a few hours before the team’s game against the Lightning, equipment manager Jorge Alves stepped into the breach. He played club hockey at N.C. State and spent a few years in the minor leagues after that, but the 37-year-old had otherwise thought his playing days were behind him.
(Personally, I find the fact that you can “sign” the contract on an iPhone kind of a bummer; print that one-day, $500 deal out for me and let me sign it.)
Still working as equipment manager, Alves was responsible for getting his mask. He went for one featuring his fellow equipment managers, drawn on by a local caricature artist, so that Alves could paint them in himself:
It gets better! Unlike many emergency goalies, Alves got a chance to play. With less than eight seconds remaining in the game, down 3-1, the Hurricanes put Alves in goal. (No shots on goal for him to save.) While still sharpening skates and taping up sticks in his capacity as equipment manager, he gave a very sweetly emotional postgame interview in his capacity as NHL goaltender.
Basically, it’s Rudy, if Rudy didn’t suck. I love it.