In their final game of the season, the Anaheim Ducks were forced to turn to emergency backup goaltender (EBUG) Tom Hodges for the third period.
John Gibson started for the Ducks on Friday versus the Dallas Stars, but was forced to leave the game after the first period with an upper-body injury. Anthony Stolarz came in to replace him, but suffered an injury himself and left the game after the second, which meant Hodges was forced to man the crease for the final period of Anaheim's season.
While the game meant nothing for the Ducks in terms of standings, the pressure was quite high for Hodges as things were tied at two apiece when he took over. He managed to make two saves in his debut, but was beaten by Jason Robertson on a power play tally that served as the game winner. The Stars then added an empty-netter to walk away with a 4-2 win. Shortly after, he explained just how nervous he was during the second intermission when he realized he would have to take the net for the third.
"I was probably the most nervous I've ever been in my life"
Tom Hodges is an absolute treasure. pic.twitter.com/HEVkYnBZ7g
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 30, 2022
“It was probably the most nervous I have ever been in my entire life, but I’m glad that I didn’t embarrass myself too much out there,” Hodges said.
“That’s the best group of guys ever. They just came up to me trying to calm me down. I think they could tell I was about ready to have a panic attack. They said they don’t care, win, lose, let in 10, just go out there and have fun. That made the whole experience a lot easier.”
EBUG, Thomas Hodges told me he lost eyesight when he was young so he never thought the NHL would be possible for him… today that dream came true… I love stories like these 🤍🤍
— Michelle McMahon (@Meesh_McMahon) April 30, 2022
After the game, both teams were quick to come onto the ice and congratulate Hodges, who performed quite well given the circumstances. He became the first "EBUG" to see game action since David Ayres defeated the Leafs back in early 2020.
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