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Hurricanes equipment manager Jorge Alves makes (brief) NHL debut in net -- at age 37


Jorge Alves signed a professional tryout contract with the Carolina Hurricanes earlier on Saturday.

Already an equipment manager with the team, Alves was needed as an emergency back-up to Cam Ward against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Eddie Lack wasn’t feeling well, so he didn’t dress.

With just a few seconds remaining in the third period, and the Hurricanes trailing by two goals, Alves, who has experience as a minor league professional goalie, was brought off the bench and into the game, making his NHL debut -- at the age of 37.

He played a total of eight seconds, and didn’t face a shot. But it still seemed like a tremendous experience for him, even if it was brief.

“It’s a surprise. It’s unbelievable. I was actually heading back down into the tunnel when I heard my name. I looked back and I was like, ‘What?’ And coach said, ‘Get your stuff on,’” he told reporters. “It was ... amazing. I couldn’t believe it.

“I just remembered looking down the ice and seeing the puck in the corner and saying, ‘Stay in that corner.’ Yeah, it was amazing. It’s still pretty emotional for me.”

His teammates let him take a lap by himself during the pre-game skate. There were even images and clips of him working the skate sharpener in the hallway and taping sticks -- while in his goalie gear.

“Can’t shake the habit,” he joked. “No, I have a duty with the team and I wasn’t going to break that.”