David Ayres has been enshrined in hockey history forever.
The 42-year-old netminder, who became the first emergency backup goaltender in NHL history to record a win, had his game stick placed into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Friday.
"To think of all the hard work and time that some of the greatest players have put in and to have their accomplishments here, for me to have a small little piece of something I've done in here is unbelievable to me," Ayres said, according to NHL.com's Dave McCarthy.
On Feb. 22, Ayres starred for the Carolina Hurricanes in a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Ontario native entered the game in the second period after both Hurricanes netminders went down with injuries. He stopped eight of 10 shots he faced to earn the monumental victory.
"The reception from everybody on just how positive a story this has become is fantastic," Ayres said. "I had four or five people stop me in the mall when I was in Carolina and just tell me how amazing they thought the story was. That was a highlight for me, where it's clear it's reached people and everyone is happy about it and it's a positive story for them."
Ayres regularly fills in at Maple Leafs practices when the team's in need of an extra goalie, and he also drives the Zamboni for the Toronto Marlies as well as at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leafs Gardens).