Friday, 4 December 2015

#33 In Your Programs

Ladies and gentlemen, here is your back-up goaltender for the Toronto Marlies in Rochester as they prepare to face the Americans. If you're all over Google hunting down this Ayres kid, let me save you the trouble. He's not in the Marlies' or Leafs' systems whatsoever. He actually works at the Air Canada Centre as the building operations manager and one of the zamboni drivers!

So how did the Marlies get to having an employee of the ACC backup Jonathan Bernier tonight?

The Maple Leafs called Antoine Bibeau up as James Reimer reportedly fell ill, leaving the Maple Leafs with only Garret Sparks to tend the nets. Bibeau made the trip to St. Louis for the game, leaving the Marlies with just Jonathan Bernier to protect their net. That, of course, will make the netminding tandem for the Maple Leafs one of Garret Sparks and Antoine Bibeau, also known as the tandem for the Marlies just over a week ago.

Bernier started the game tonight against the Americans, and I doubt that Ayres will see any action whatsoever despite the 38 year-old's emergency car trip to Rochester, New York. It's even better when no one knows how to spell his name. His jersey read Ayres, but National Post's David Alter continually wrote "Ayers" in his article. So which is it?

For the record, it is "Ayres".

That's a pretty awesome story, though, as he signed an amateur tryout contract literally in the hallway of the Blue Cross Arena before hauling his gear into the room, grabbing his jersey, and heading out for warm-up. Mind you, when the players only pepper you with some light shots, it's not that much of a warm-up when you consider what some AHL goalies go through in the pre-game routine. It's still pretty awesome for a guy who just thought he'd be driving a zamboni tomorrow.

Pretty crazy day for the ACC's building operations manager, right?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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