37-year-old Stoughton, Mass. native makes incredible NHL debut

There comes a time when you hang up your dreams of playing in the NHL. But for one Stoughton native, the dream was achieved probably well after he ever thought it would be possibly.

Last Saturday night was an interesting one for the Carolina Hurricanes. Their backup goaltender was out sick, so that meant they were left with Cam Ward and their equipment manager, Jorge Alves. The 37-year-old dressed for the game as an emergency backup. Luckily for the Hurricanes, Ward did not sustain injury. But with their team down, 3-1, to the Tampa Bay Lightning with 7.6 seconds left, Alves got his chance. He played out the rest of the game and did not have to stop any shots.

Definitely nice of the Hurricanes to put him at the end there.

It might also be worth noting Brian Boyle of the Tampa Bay Lightning is from Hingham, Mass. and Noah Hanifin of the Carolina Hurricanes, is from Norwood. Just a little bit more local connection in that game than anyone might have originally thought. That’s a plus…

And in case you were wondering, here’s some more background info on Alves:

He’s been the Hurricanes equipment manager since the 2012-2013 season. He played club hockey at NC State and served as a goaltender. He played in the East Coast Hockey League and Southern Professional Hockey League when he was younger. He’s 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds. Before college, he was a Marine for four years. Oh yeah, and he practices with the team, in addition to his equipment duties. Probably nice for the Hurricanes to have another ex pro goalie on hand at practice to give them another look.

So what’s the lesson here? Don’t give on your dreams. Just keep going regardless of what the odds look like. It could happen. Always a chance.

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