An amateur goaltender, who is also a police officer with the SPVM, had a special evening at the Bell Center Thursday night when he was called upon to play the role of Florida Panthers goaltender Alex Lyon.
• Also read: An evening in the dungeon: The CH bows 6 to 2 to the Panthers
At every game at the Bell Center, someone is always present in case one of the goaltenders from either team is injured. Patrick Chèvrefils was granted this privilege on Thursday evening.
He was in the press box when he witnessed Sergei Brobovsky’s injury in the first period of the game against the Canadian.
“When I saw Brobovsky going into his team’s dressing room, a kind of anxiety or stress came over me,” said Chèvrefils, whose career was limited to a few league training camps. I then went to a locker room to put on my gear.
“When I got downstairs I received a text message confirming the Panthers needed me. It’s a childhood dream that you can tick off, but that you had forgotten. »
Panthers officials removed Casey Fitzgerald’s name from a jersey before giving it to the Quebec goaltender.
“It occurred to me that maybe I could jump on the ice. I stretched a lot and tested my reflexes with lacrosse balls to keep fit, said Chèvrefils, who was competing at Bell Center for the tenth time this season. My main concern was not to fall if I had to go on the ice.
“I also had a special thought for my father who passed away three years ago. He’s been my biggest supporter throughout my career. I shed a few tears when I was alone. »
Photo courtesy of Patrick Chèvrefils
Back to normal
Chèvrefil is a citizen like any other. In addition to his job as a police officer with the SPVM, he holds goals in several garage leagues.
He did so yesterday morning at the Normandin Arena in Brossard. “I was in my league with other cops and firefighters. I was teased quite a bit, especially since the Canadian lost the match.
“I never thought I would get all these calls and attention. I am now trying to lead a normal life again. I’m not the type to show off a lot on social media. »
For those wondering, Chèvrefils is not being paid for his presence at the Bell Center. Of course, he doesn’t pay for his parking, drinks and food during games.
“If I had jumped on the ice, I would have been paid,” Chèvrefils said. The contract was done if it had been. »
After the Panthers’ win, he got to celebrate with Alex Lyon, who was enjoying his first win in the NHL.
While he didn’t hop onto the ice to confront the Canadian, Patrick Chèvrefils had a chance to experience an evening in the shoes of an NHL goaltender. A moment he will remember for the rest of his life.