March 29, 2018 will be a day Scott Foster never forgets. After turning in a typical work day as an accountant at Golub Capital, the 36-year-old Oak Park resident spent his evening improbably making his NHL debut as an emergency goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
Foster had seven saves for a 1.000 save percentage in 14 minutes of action against the Winnipeg Jets and their third-ranked NHL offense. The Blackhawks defeated the Jets 6-2.
“A few hours ago I was sitting on my computer typing on the 10-key, and now I’m standing in front of you guys, just finished 14 and a half minutes of NHL hockey,” Foster told the media after the game. “From my perspective, this is a dream regardless. This is something that no one can ever take away from me, it’s something I can go home and tell my kids.”
Nicknamed “Fozzy” by his hockey rec league buddies, Foster had his number called due to a glut of injured goalkeepers for the Blackhawks, including Corey Crawford, Anton Forsberg and Collin Delia.
“The initial shock happened when I had to dress,” Foster said. “You just kind of block out after that.”
Crawford has been on the injured reserve list since December, while Forsberg and Delia were injured during warmups and the third period, respectively, during the game against Winnipeg.
Foster suited up just minutes before the game once he was informed of Forsberg’s injury. After Delia went down in the third period with cramping, Foster’s dream became reality as he entered the game wearing jersey number 90. He didn’t allow a goal and stopped multiple shots, notably from Jets’ star Paul Stasny and former Blackhawk Dustin Byfuglien.
Prior to his NHL appearance, Foster played college hockey at Western Michigan University from 2002-2006. He had a 20-22-6 record with a .975 save percentage and 3.44 goals against average while playing for the Broncos. He also played for the Petrolia Jets of the Western Ontario Hockey League.
Currently, he plays in a rec league at Johnny’s Icehouse located just a few blocks from the United Center.
Foster, who attends about 15 games a season, typically spends his time at the United Center eating snacks and watching the Blackhawks from the 300 level press box in the upper reaches of the Madhouse on Madison.
On one special occasion, however, his location was between the pipes of the Blackhawks’ net as 20,000-plus fans chanted his name in the closing seconds of an unforgettable game.