DENVER -- It's the story everyone is talking about: A 36-year-old accountant called in as an emergency NHL goalie who stops one shot after another -- saving the day. It's the stuff of rec-legue players' dreams.
Turns out, you'll find an amateur emergency backup goalie sitting in the stands at every NHL game ready to take the ice.
Lyric Black was the designated guy at the Avalanche game Friday night. A 39-year-old plumbing estimator and father of three who plays rec-league hockey by day, and by night, an NHL emergency backup goalie (at least for the next few games -- there is a rotation.)
"I currently play adult league in the A and B leagues, mostly up in Westminster and Boulder," said Black. "I watch the goalies and how they move anyway, and now, I'm watching but wondering 'Are they getting up slower? Did they pull something? That looked a little funky.'"
The emergency backups sign one-day contracts, just in case the goalie and the back-up goalie are injured.
"I don't want anyone to get hurt, but I really want to play, so it's a little conflict there," said Black with a smile.