The Carolina Hurricanes were in a jam on Saturday, so they turned to their equipment manager to step up take on a new role for the team, for a day. Jorge Alves was signed by the Hurricanes to take on the role of emergency goalie!
The mad scramble to fill a roster spot for the emergency goalie was more a result of bad timing. Starting goalie Eddie Lack was not feeling well, so the Hurricanes needed to go with backup Cam Ward in net for a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Not having a backup goalie ready to go just in case one was needed, the Hurricanes tried whatever they could to get a goalie in pads and on the bench on short notice. As you might imagine, doing so on New Years Eve proved to be quite a challenge, so the team had to go another route.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) December 31, 2016
Thankfully, 37-year old equipment manager Jorge Alves was more than willing to do his part to help the team in a rather unique way, and he signed an NHL contract years after putting his ECHL career behind him. Alves even had his own custom helmet with fellow trainers painted on the mask, and he got to lead the team out to the ice.
The mask Jorge Alves will wear tonight features his fellow equipment managers. Erik Huffine drew caricatures. Jorge painted it himself. pic.twitter.com/PHympx1LhC
— Mike Sundheim (@MikeSundheim) December 31, 2016
— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) December 31, 2016
And if you thought this meant Alves would have a night off from taking care of the team’s equipment needs, think again. If the Hurricanes couldn’t find a backup goalie on New Years Eve, finding a replacement equipment manager would not be any easier. So Alves, being the true team-player he is, did what he does best and took care of equipment in full goalie pads and all.
— Mike Maniscalco (@mikemaniscalco) January 1, 2017
But the story gets even better, as Alves actually entered the game in the final seconds! Trailing 3-1 with 7.6 seconds left, the Hurricanes figured what the heck and put Alves in to finish the game.
"They were really excited for me, which meant a lot."
— FOX Sports Carolinas (@CanesOnFSCR) January 1, 2017