ST. LOUIS (AP) — A vending machine worker in St. Louis dressed as the Blues emergency goalie Thursday night.
Season-ticket holder Tyler Stewart participated in pregame warmups and watched from the dressing room in the first period of the Blues' game against the Dallas Stars.
The 25-year-old former junior hockey player signed a tryout contract Thursday afternoon after backup Carter Hutton injured his lower body during the morning skate. St. Louis called up Ville Husso from AHL San Antonio, but Husso could not get to the arena in time for puck drop.
So Stewart opened the game as Jake Allen's backup.
"It was like a dream come true, obviously," Stewart said.
Husso arrived with about five minutes left in the first period, and Stewart was sent up to his regular seats to join his wife and mother for the rest of the game.
He got an up-close look at his local team first. He said he spoke with several players before the game, including Vladimir Tarasenko.
"Getting to hear (Coach Mike) Yeo's pregame speech was something," Stewart said.
Stewart played on the club team at Saint Louis University. He got a call from the Blues on Thursday after he had already finished his shift working for a vending machine company.
St. Louis gave him jersey No. 98, and he turned aside a few shots during warmups.
"It's something I'll never forget," he said. "This was my Christmas present."
More AP hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey