Living the Dream

by Ella DeFazio

David Ayres’ fairytale-like story is going viral all over the nation.  His not-so-normal NHL debut on Saturday, February 22 with the Carolina Hurricanes is getting attention from almost every popular news outlet. His story teaches many about grit and perseverance.

After undergoing a kidney transplant, David thought his dreams of playing in the NHL would never come true, but all of that changed Saturday night when the starting goalie and all backup goalies were injured.  David was told to suit up and play in front of 18,000 people.

While entering the second period of the game, the Hurricanes were leading 3-1.  Ayres let up 2 quick goals, but eventually warmed up and shut out the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third period.  Leading them into a 6-3 win.

Ayres also made history on his big night, becoming the oldest goalie in NHL history to win his regular season debut.  As well as making hockey history, David’s stick, he used during the game, was sent to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  

After the remarkable game, the Carolina Hurricanes have started selling David Ayres jerseys that will benefit a kidney foundation in North Carolina to recognize the fact that David went through a kidney transplant. 

After his “media-blitz” on Monday, Ayres was honored by the mayor of Raleigh, Nancy McFarlane, and the Hurricane’s general manager, Don Wadell.  The special treatment didn’t end after hometown fans gathered at PNC Arena on Tuesday night. Fans asked for autographs while wearing Ayres’ name and jersey number.