Imagine one day you’re working for a vending machine company. The next, you’re hitting the ice for the St. Louis Blues.
That was the case for 25-year-old Tyler Stewart this week when Blues’ backup goalie Carter Hutton injured himself during the morning skate. The team called up AHL San Antonio goalie Ville Husso, but he couldn’t get to St. Louis in time for the puck drop against the Dallas Stars.
So, Stewart was the Blues’ next call. The junior hockey player who played at St. Louis University is a season ticket holder, so when he found out he would be Jake Allen’s backup, he was thrilled.
He wore No. 98, took part in pregame warmups and stood by in the locker room watching the game until Husso arrived at the arena with five minutes left in the first period.
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) December 8, 2017
That’s when the team told Stewart he could join his wife and mother in the stands for the rest of the game, where they watched the Blues beat the Stars 3-0.
“It was crazy. I mean, completely out of the blue. Just got home from work, and I got a call and obviously, I jumped all over it,” Stewart told Fox Sports Midwest.
Stewart said he wasn’t too nervous because he had skated with the team in the past.
“It was more surreal just coming out of the tunnel because I’ve seen it a thousand times, and it was just like, wow. I’ve never seen it like that before, you know.”
He also had some great experiences in the locker room.
“I got to listen to the pregame speech with (Mike) Yeo,” Stewart told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It’s crazy how loose they [the players] are. You would think they’d be tight a little, but they’re joking around like you wouldn’t even think they’re playing a hockey game. It’s a cool environment, nothing like I’d ever experienced before.”
According to The Athletic, Stweart actually keeps his goalie equipment in his wife’s SUV when they attend games.
“I bring it to every game just in case there’s an injury,” he said.
As for Stewart’s holiday season? There’s no need to buy him any gifts.
“This was my Christmas present,” he said.