Dream night for Dinos third-stringer

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

Pat Quinn called it “one of those feel good stories.”

The coach said he didn't know that the goaltender they gave him last night had just played one game in the last two years for the Calgary Dinosaurs and it took an injury and a suspension to get into that one.

“They probably didn't want to scare me,” he said.

He said he pictured Nathan Deobald “driving up from Calgary in a 1938 Ford pick-up truck” to be his backup goalie.

Quinn noted his phone rang more than usual yesterday after he emerged from the morning practice and announced “the search is on” to replace an ill Devan Dubnyk as backup.

“We have a lot of players in Edmonton who would have loved that,” said Quinn.

Informed that Olympic gold medal goaltender Shannon Szabados was one of them, Quinn said he'd have had no problem with that.

“That would have been fine.”

Until that point Quinn had been having fun with the situation.

After the morning skate he joked about it.

“We're currently trying to make some arrangements, otherwise me may have to dress (Dubnyk), put a mask on him and get him ready in the ref's room – because it is communicable and we'd like to get them sick.”

Asked if he'd consider using Sportsnet Pacific's John Garrett, who came down from the broadcast booth in a similar situation when Bill Ranford was hurt in the early '90s — declaring on ITV at the time that he had signed a multi-minute contract — Quinn declined.

''He couldn't stop it years ago,” he said.

Quinn said he came from the bench at the end of the first period and saw Deobald getting interviewed on TV.

“I wanted to go up to him and tell him 'Loosen up, you're going in the next period. But I didn't have the heart to do that.’”

For Deobald, an aspiring actor, it was a thrill.

“I was in class, a theatre for young audiences class,” he said of when he got the word.

“When it was over I turned on my BlackBerry and I had a bunch of text messages and missed calls. At first I wasn't sure if this was a put-on. At first I didn't believe it. I've had one full game in two years. It was the furthest thing from my mind. I felt so blessed to get into the game I was able to get into two weeks ago here against the Golden Bears. I feel so fortunate, really.

“Everything happened so fast. It was surreal.”

He did manage to get his mom and dad and two sisters to the game.

“It was a great experience. Every part of it. The whole experience. The guys on the team were really great.”


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