The ECHL’s Colorado Eagles were in a bind on Friday night. One of their goaltenders had been called up to Adirondack of the AHL and the other was injured.
Enter Tate Maris.
The 26-year old, who had been invited to the team's training camp on a tryout only to be released, was signed as the Eagles' emergency backup goaltender. On Friday, the Eagles turned to Maris to give him an opportunity he hadn’t experienced in seven years: starting a game.
Maris spent the 2013-14 season as an emergency backup for the Alaska Aces and Denver Cutthroats, and before that played for the University of North Dakota where his only appearance came during the final home game for seniors at Ralph Engelstad Arena in March 2013. He came in relief and played just over four minutes, making one save and finishing his collegiate career with a perfect 1.000 save percentage.
The last time Maris started a game he was a member of the Bozeman Ice Dogs of then Tier III Northern Pacific Hockey League back during the 2007-08 season. That's a long time to sit and wait your turn, but the day finally game and it turned into a memorable one.
Maris got his chance on against the Bakersfield Condors and made the most of the opportunity. He stopped 14 shots and helped the Eagles to a 5-3 win.
Thanks for all the nice words everyone! Seven years is a hell of a long wait for a start but worth… http://t.co/BSWG3QjqKi
— Tate Maris (@tat3mari5) January 11, 2015
While he works on a future album, Maris willl continue to be a reliable emergency backup for teams playing in the Denver area. Hopefully it's not another seven years before he's given a chance to start again and improve upon his perfect 1-0-0 professional record.
- - - - - - -
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY: