36-year-old EBUG Scott Foster makes seven stops in Blackhawks Thursday night win
Emergency backup goaltenders are always fun to hear about, even if they never even make it out to the bench.
When they make it to the bench, it’s even more exciting – but when they get into the game, it can get especially fun. Particularly when they’re 36-years old and haven’t played professional hockey at any level.
Scott Foster played for four years at Western Michigan University, putting up 21 appearances in the 2002-03 season, 33 in 2003-04, and failing to register a single game his third year before making just one appearance in the team’s 2005-06 campaign, playing a whopping 20 minutes.
Since then, Foster – a Western Ontario native – hasn’t made a blip on hockey’s radar. His Elite Prospects page has been remarkably silent, skipping from 2006 to 2018 when he signed an EBUG contract for Thursday night’s Chicago Blackhawks game.
The Blackhawks were supposed to run a tandem of Anton Forsberg in net and Collin Delia on the bench, already a shocking progression from where they were just three-and-a-half months ago. Forsberg has been the mainstay in net as the team has falling down the standings in Corey Crawford’s absence, still only announced as upper body after more than half the season out of the lineup; he’s been backed up by 32-year-old rookie Jeff Glass, former Islanders goaltender JF Berube, and now Delia.
Just hours before the game, though, Forsberg got hurt as well. So with zero games of combined NHL experience between them, Delia and Foster suited up to face down one of the NHL’s most relentless offensive forces in the Winnipeg Jets.
Delia was having a fairly strong debut, stopping 25 of 27 shots through 45:59 of ice time to help Chicago jump out to a solid lead.
Then, he went down injured as well, falling victim to the curse of the Chicago Crease with enough of the game left that Foster was thrown to the wolves – and stopped everything he faced.
Foster stood down seven shots in 14:01 of ice time, recording a partial shutout in the one and only NHL game on his resume – made all the more special as the one and only pro game, to boot.
It was just Chicago’s 32nd win of the season, a harsh reminder that it wasn’t exactly an easy one for either Delia or Foster. The entirely rookie tandem combined to face 34 shots, and that number may well have been higher if Chicago hadn’t done absolutely everything in their power to keep the puck away from their 36-year-old feel-good story of the year.
Still, they couldn’t stop everything. Foster faced down Patrik Laine at one point, and turned him away; with each successive save, the roars from the crowd grew.
After the game, Foster earned the first star – and rightfully so – but doesn’t really remember much about the performance itself:
Blackhawks legend Scott Foster: "The initial shock happened when I had to dress. And then I think you just kind of black out after that."
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) March 30, 2018
Although he came up in the early 2000’s era of goaltending, where the more aggressive the better and post integration was a distant dream, Foster’s game looked fairly crisp – not just for his age, not just for being 12 years removed from his college career, but in general. Take a look:
Foster faced 7 shots and allowed no goals: it couldn't have gone better. Here's a little of his work: pic.twitter.com/Eps18sxKMj
— InGoal Magazine (@InGoalMedia) March 30, 2018
It’s been an incredibly tough year for the Blackhawks, who currently sit just seven positions out of last in the NHL and boasting a six-goaltender rotation this year (and counting, apparently).
If there was ever a story that could brighten the fan’s faces, though, this was definitely it. Nothing reminds us how much we love hockey, after all, like a great EBUG success story.
Congrats to Scott foster on his first NHL debut and WIN with the @NHLBlackhawks awesome guy and so honored to have painted your mask! #scottfoster #blackhawks #goalielife #scottfosterblackhawks pic.twitter.com/R38evq7H3B
— Jason Livery (@headstronggrafx) March 30, 2018