THE BEST HOCKEY STORY OF THE YEAR Scott Foster Got to Live His Dream
A 45 Year Drought
My father-in-law used to go to nearly every Chicago Blackhawks home game when he was young. He would even take the train up to Chicago from Champaign when he was in college at the University of Illinois. He was a die-hard fan. Of course, those days Gordie Howe ruled the ice and there were only six team in the NHL. (Trivia question – name all six. Answer at the bottom of the article). However, as it happens to many men, a wife and kids game along. The last game my father-in-law went to was the first game after a series of canceled games to mourn the assassination of President John F. Kennedy! I was shocked. I always knew he was a fan, but how could he have not been to a game in 45 years? So on March 29, 2018, we took him to a game. But that’s not the best part of the story.
Brent Seabrook’s 1,000 game
It was going to be a great night for hockey. First, it was Brent Seabrook’s 1,000th game as a Blackhawk. The ceremony was a great way to celebrate the amazing ride Seabrook has had with the Blackhawks so far. You can see a great tribute video to Brent here. But that’s not the best part of the story.
Another great storyline that night was the Blackhawk’s debut for Dylan Sikura. Sikura was a sixth round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He had a really solid four year college career at Northeastern University, winning several awards, including an AHCA East First Team All-American. He had a great performance in this game, scoring two points for assists on goals by Erik Gustafsson and Alex DeBrincat. But that’s not the best part of the story.
From Fifth String to Starter
Collin Delia started the 2017-2018 NHL season as the fifth string goalie for the Blackhawks. Unfortunately for Chicago fans, Corey Crawford, the starting goalie, went down with a head injury in December. Anton Forsberg became the starter for the Blackhawks, and Jeff Glass and JF Berube had turns as backup. On this fateful night in March, the goalies were Forsberg with Delia getting the backup. No backup wishes ill for their starting counterpart, but you can be sure Delia wanted to find a way to get some playing time. He got more than he bargained for when Forsberg went down with a freak injury before the game started. Delia, therefore, started the game and had an impressive first two periods, helping the Blackhawks reach a 6-2 lead. But, as you may have guess, that’s not the best part of the story.
Make Way for The Accountant
There is a little NHL rule. According to Section 5.3 of the collective bargaining agreement, “In regular League and Playoff games, if both listed goalkeepers are incapacitated, that team shall be entitled to dress and play any available goalkeeper who is eligible. This goalkeeper is eligible to sit on the player’s bench, in uniform.” A similar rule has always existed in the NHL. These guys used to be known as ‘house goalies’ and were often a coach or a trainer. Nowadays, all teams keep a list of emergency backup goalies, affectionately known as EBUGs.
Well, with Forsberg down, the Blackhawks had to dress their EBUG. Enter Scott Foster, an accountant by day, who had to come out of the press box and get dressed. Foster, who’s last major hockey playing days were for Western Michigan University from 2002-2006, was just one injury away from playing in the NHL.
You can guess what happened next. Delia goes down early in the third period. In skates Foster. It even brought a smile to the face of the famously stoic Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. Of course, everybody in the stands has no idea what’s going on or who this Foster guy is. I’ve never seen so many people pull out their smartphones at the same time. Slowly, word passed through the crowd. By the time Scott made his third save, the crowd started going crazy for this everyman here. By the end of the game, the entire stadium was chanting “Foster, Foster”. He was mobbed by his teammates at the end of the game.
Scott Foster, The Accountant, ended the game with 7 saves and was awarded the “Star of the Game”. For just over 15 minutes, an everyday guy got to live his dream.
Here’s to you Scott Foster! (and Scott, if you are reading, we know you don’t do media and are keeping everything private, but if you ever want a beer from your fellow Blackhawks fans at ManScore, just shoot us a note).
Trivia Answer: The six teams in the NHL in 1963 were: Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Black Hawks, Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, and the Boston Bruins.
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