(Reuters) – David Ayres had never played in a National Hockey League game until Saturday, but the Carolina Hurricanes are now selling shirts to honor the Zamboni driver after he performed heroics in a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Hurricanes team shop is selling an Ayres number 90 t-shirt in honor of the 42-year-old who stepped in as an emergency goaltender after Carolina’s two netminders were injured in the win over Toronto.
“Zamboni driver by day, emergency goaltender by night David Ayres earned First Star honors and saved the day for the Canes in Toronto! Grab your t-shirt jersey to support the Canes’ newest legend!” the Hurricanes said on Twitter on Sunday.
The franchise said Ayres will receive royalties from the shirt and a portion of the proceeds will go to a kidney foundation.
Ayres, who works as a Zamboni driver for the minor league Toronto Marlies, underwent a kidney transplant in 2004.
Zambonis are resurfacing vehicles used to clean and smooth ice surfaces at hockey games and other events.
He entered the game in the second period and stopped eight of 10 shots he faced.
Ayres will be in the Hurricanes home arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday to sound the team’s siren for the game against the Dallas Stars.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Toby Davis)