Tuesday February 16, 2016

Beer league dad gets call from Coyotes to play goal, just before game

Emergency goalie Nathan Schoenfeld of the Arizona Coyotes watches from the bench during the third period of the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at Gila River Arena on February 15, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Canadiens 6-2.

Emergency goalie Nathan Schoenfeld of the Arizona Coyotes watches from the bench during the third period of the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at Gila River Arena on February 15, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Canadiens 6-2. (CHRISTIAN PETERSEN/Getty Images)

Listen 4:58

It started out like any other Monday night for Nathan Schoenfeld. The 31-year-old banker in Phoenix, Arizona was bathing his 5-week-old twin sons, and getting ready to put them to bed.

And then, he got an unexpected text message. It was the Arizona Coyotes. They were scheduled to play the Montreal Canadiens.

"I got the text last night from my father-in-law who works for the Coyotes, that I needed to come suit up for the game ... It was about an hour before the game was starting ... You know, I kind of thought it was a joke," Schoenfeld told As It Happens host Carol Off.

Aside from his regular day job as a banker, Schoenfeld is also the emergency backup goalie for the Coyotes. And last night's game called for an emergency. The team's back-up goalie, Anders Lindback, had just suffered a leg injury. And while they had another back-up goalie ready to defend the net, they needed someone on the bench.

"I basically looked at my wife, and said 'Hey, I just got a call to play,' and she said, 'OK, we'll figure it out.' Luckily, her mother wasn't too far away, so she came over and helped out with the twins," he says.

Nathan Schoenfeld

Nathan Schoenfeld, pictured with his wife Colby, eldest son Kesler, and twin sons Rhett and Drake. (PROVIDED)

Thirty minutes later, Schoenfeld was at the rink, and started suiting up.

"Walking out onto the ice was definitely a surreal moment. Seeing the crowd and the lights and everything... it was fun."

Schoenfeld isn't a total stranger to the Coyotes. He occasionally skates with the team's alumni players. And his dad, Jim Schoenfeld, was head coach of the team in the 1990s.

But last night was the first time Schoenfeld had ever been called to play for the NHL — and his first real competitive game in a long time.

"I played some club hockey for Arizona State University but that was probably the last competitive hockey I played, and that was about ten years ago," he says.

In the end, Schoenfeld never left the bench. The final score was 6-2 for the Coyotes.

Here's some of what Schoenfeld said to reporters after the game: