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PRICELESS! Utah Grizzlies Emergency Goalie Plays

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The emergency goalie in hockey is one of the most unique positions in sports. It provides everyday people with the opportunity to lace up their skates and sit on a bench, and very rarely, thrusts them onto ice when rostered goalies get injured.

That’s what happened to 43-year-old firefighter Jay Stevens on Saturday in Utah.

Stevens was signed as an emergency backup for the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL, and after their starting goalie got hit in the head with a puck and needed stitches, Stevens entered the game against the Rapid City Rush.

"I've sat the bench a lot of times for the Grizzlies and all of a sudden its was time to go in," said Stevens, via good4utah.com. "I thought I had the best seat and then all of a sudden I was in the game!"

Utah won 3-2 in front of 6,000 fans.

"I was thinking this can't really be happening. I'm too old to play with all these kids in a real game, and it was a really competitive game that night."

The ECHL is a league comprised of 27 teams. It is a tier below the American Hockey League, the minor league feeder for the National Hockey League.

Grizzles head coach Tim Branham said Stevens made “seven or nine saves, whatever it was, and two penalty kills that we had to kill off, it was just tremendous. The boys just rallied together and got the job done."

Stevens said he played hockey at Weber State when he was 20 years old. He called Saturday’s game the “most nervous for hockey I’ve ever been.”

"I'll be telling this story every day," Stevens said. "I'm going to get t-shirts printed. I'm going to live it forever. It was a dream come true to play for the Grizzlies."

The NHL most recently saw a 23-year-old youth hockey coach, Eric Semborski, be called on as an emergency goalie in Philadelphia, though the Chicago Blackhawks didn't need him in the game. Alexander Pechursky, a Russian who played in the minors. played for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2010 after their third-string goalie got pulled.

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