Zach Sikich is in the middle of a pretty good run.
Three weeks ago, the 32-year-old goalie trainer's wife gave birth to his second child -- a daughter. On Tuesday night, he got a call from the Anaheim Ducks. He was needed in their lineup against the Minnesota Wild.
Which wasn't a typical request for Sikich, being that he's not an NHL player.
The Ducks have been coasting most of this season with the goaltending tandem of Viktor Fasth and Jonas Hiller, but after Fasth went down with an injury in warmup, they suddenly found themselves in need of another goalie. Jeff DeLauriers was called up from Fort Wayne in the ECHL, but he wouldn't land in Minnesota until puck drop.
So Anaheim had to get creative.
They called up Sikich, the founder of goalie training school ProHybrid, who had served as a practice goalie for the club when they were in town a year earlier.
But this wasn't practice.
He arrived at the Xcel Energy Center at 4:30 p.m. “The best part was getting out of the suit I wore to the arena, hanging those clothes into a locker, starting getting into hockey gear, taping sticks,’’ Sikich said. “To do that before an NHL was a tremendous thrill.”
He said a number of the Ducks recognized him from the previous year. “They came over and said, ‘Welcome back,’” he said. “They couldn’t have treated me any better.”
Sikich wasn't entirely without pro experience. Before founding his goalie training school, ProHybrid, he played for such illustrious clubs as the Motor City Mechanics, Danbury Trashers, Fort Wayne Komets and Phoenix Roadrunners. But he never made the NHL.
That is, until Tuesday. Now he can add the Anaheim Ducks to that list, although he didn't see the ice, and was relieved by DeLauriers just 14 minutes after puck drop.
That was fine. He's already gotten what he really wanted.
"Having an NHL jersey with Sikich on the back," he told Eric Stephens.
"More that anything, that’s all I wanted. ... I'll be able to tell a story."
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