Photo: Blackhawks Facebook
By day Thursday, Scott Foster, Oak Park, Ill., was an accountant during tax season. By Friday morning, he was the Blackhawks‘ First Star of the Game against the Winnipeg Jets, he held the Blackhawks belt as player of the game, he was trending on social media, and NHL and Fanatics emails featured Foster-personalized tees and Blackhawks sweaters. He was the unlikely hero Chicago and fans needed after the Blackhawks’ first failure to make the playoffs in a decade.
“It’s a little different when a few hours ago you’re working your day job and then you’re living your dream.”
The 36-year-old, who played for Western Michigan University from 2002-2006 (20-22-6, .875 save percentage, 3.44 GAA) and has played at Johnnie’s Ice House, Chicago, for men’s league elite teams since 2011, kept the Blackhawks scoreless, stopping all seven shots in about 14 minutes of play.
Scott Foster used to stuff goalie trading cards in his skates for good luck. Wonder if he did before last night’s emergency work with Chicago. pic.twitter.com/6oo9z1axV2
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) March 30, 2018
It’s safe to say he stole the thunder of another Blackhawk—one who is known for not loving the spotlight, Brent Seabrook, who was playing his 1000th game.
(Photos: Chicago Blackhawks Facebook)
Seabrook, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Hawks, was acknowledged in a pregame ceremony.
Two periods later, Foster, an emergency backup goalie, was listed as a press box visitor until a perfect storm sent him, in full Blackhawks uniform, onto the United Center ice.
“The initial shock happened when I had to dress. You just kind of black out after that.”
“You think there’d be a lot of pressure. But, really, tomorrow I’m going to wake up, I’m going to button up my shirt, and I’m going to go back to my day job. So what pressure is there for me?”
From the moment he stepped through the tunnel onto the bench, receiving fist-bumps from some of the NHL’s top stars as he headed to the net, Foster was an inspiration.
Sure, the Hawks were up 6-2 in the third.
But, this last part of the game was perhaps the best defense we’d seen from the team all season. And, Foster was great in it, including stopping Dustin Byfuglien‘s power shot and diving to make a save.
His Johnnie’s Ice House team didn’t seem to mind Foster missing their scheduled 10 p.m. start, instead cheering for their hockey brother.
Johnny’s Elite goalie called into the game for the hawks. Go Scotty! pic.twitter.com/0Sbu2oliXF
— Johnny’s IceHouse (@johnnysicehouse) March 30, 2018
While he was being celebrated, Foster used his “Star of the Game” interview to acknowledge living his dream with Chicago’s team and passionate fans.
Emergency goalies play on an Amateur Tryout Agreement, and are unpaid for their professional ice time. It looks like his teammates for the night found him a souvenir after the final horn, though.
Blackhawks emergency backup goalie Scott Foster:
— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) March 30, 2018
Foster left happy:
“This is a dream regardless. It’s something no one can ever take away from me. It’s something I can go home and tell my kids and they can tell their friends and whatnot.”