Carolina Hurricanes goaltenders James Reimer and Petr Mrazek both left with injuries against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. With no other goalies available, -- who was in the building because he works for the Leafs -- suited up for the opposing Hurricanes.
Ayres' performance caught national attention, including that of North Carolina governor Roy Cooper. On Tuesday, Cooper announced a proclamation that named Ayres as an honorary North Carolinian.
"The Carolina Hurricanes are currently in a battle for a spot in the National Hockey League playoffs, which will bring greater economic prosperity and further our state's reputation of excellence in sports," Cooper's proclamation said.
Cooper added that "David Ayres gave North Carolina hockey fans a memory that we will never forget," and that he "proved to be the personification of 'That's hockey, baby!'"
Ayres stopped eight of the 10 shots that he faced in Carolina's 6-3 win, despite allowing consecutive goals on the first two shots he faced. The 42-year old emergency netminder is also set to be honored during the Hurricanes' game against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday when he be the siren sounder.
Ayres has served as the regular practice goalie for the Toronto Marlies, who are the Maples Leafs' AHL affiliate. He was available to suit up for either team if his services were needed and ended up being paid $500 for Saturday's assignment.