Nico Daws was the unwitting focal point of a pretty bizarre moment in Guelph Storm history Saturday night in Windsor.
Daws was named the third star of a game that officially he didn't play a second in.
He did play, making an emergency appearance and stopping the Spitfires’ Cody Morgan on a penalty shot in overtime, but that was it for the night.
“I’ve never in my life seen that before. That was crazy,” said Daws on Monday.
Making it even goofier, Daws and the two starting goalies in the game were chosen as the three stars, likely the first time that’s ever happened.
“They told me when I came off that I was the third star and they wanted me to go out and take a lap around, but I’m not going to do that after a loss,” Daws said of a game that the Storm eventually lost in a shootout.
Daws was called into duty at 2:58 of overtime.
Morgan broke in alone on Storm starting netminder Anthony Popovich and was checked from behind, sending Morgan crashing into the goaltender.
Popovich wasn’t hurt, but his skate blade broke when it hit the post behind him as a result of the collision.
Storm equipment manager Doug Robertson worked feverishly on the ice to fix the skate quickly, but when that couldn’t be done, referee Joe Celestin ruled that the Storm had to put Daws in net to avoid further delay.
“I saw him come to the bench .... I didn’t really think it was a big deal. As soon as I saw a rubber mallet being pulled out it started going through my head that ‘you might want to start stretching.’”
The rookie Storm netminder then stopped Morgan on the penalty shot.
Popovich then returned with a fixed skate and Daws’ work was done for the night.
“I felt pretty loose when I got on the ice, but I didn’t know if I was going to get my eyes going and actually make a save, but somehow I pulled it off.
“Poppy played an unreal game and I just wanted for him to have another chance to get the two points. If that penalty shot had gone in, it would have been horrible for him, having no control in a game that you played so great in.”
While the event opened him up for some teasing from his teammates, it could have been worse.
“I’m sure I would have heard a lot about it if I’d let it in. They were pretty happy I made the save.”