An amateur goalie who is also a police officer with the SPVM experienced a special night Thursday night at the Bell Center when he was called upon to play the role of Florida Panthers goalie Alex Lyon.
• Also read: A night in the dungeon: CH bows 6 to 2 to the Panthers
At every match at the Bell Centre, there is always someone on hand if one of the goalkeepers on either team is injured. On Thursday evening, this privilege had been granted to Patrick Chèvrefils.
He was in the press gallery when he saw the injury to Sergei Brobovsky in the first period of the fight against the Canadian.
“When I saw Brobovsky heading to his team’s locker room, I was driven by some kind of anxiety or stress,” said Chèvrefils, whose career was limited to a few major league training camps. I then went to a locker room to put on my gear.
“When I got down there, I received a text confirming that the Panthers needed me. It’s a childhood dream that you can check off but forget about.”
Panthers officials removed Casey Fitzgerald’s name from a jersey before giving it to the Quebec goaltender.
“It crossed my mind that I might be able to jump on the ice. I stretched a lot and I tested my reflexes with lacrosse balls to stay ready, explained Chèvrefils, who was making his 10th appearance at the Bell Center this season. I thought above all about not falling if I had to go on the ice.
“I also had a special thought for my father, who died three years ago. He has been my biggest support in my career. I shed a few tears when I was alone. »
Photo provided by Patrick Chèvrefils
Back to normal
Chèvrefil is a citizen like everyone else. Alongside his job as a police officer in the SPVM, he keeps goals in several garage leagues.
He did that yesterday morning at the Normandin Arena in Brossard. “I was in my league with other police officers and firefighters. I was teased quite a bit, especially when the Canadian lost the match.
“I never thought I would get all these calls and this attention. I’m now trying to get back to a normal life. I’m not a guy who shows off a lot on social media. »
For those wondering, Chèvrefils is not paid for his presence at the Bell Center. Of course, he does not pay for his parking, his drinks and his food during the games.
“If I had jumped on the ice, I would have been paid,” indicated Chèvrefils. The contract was ready if it had been. »
After the Panthers win, he was able to celebrate with Alex Lyon, who was enjoying his first win in the NHL.
Although he didn’t jump on the ice to face the Canadian, Patrick Chèvrefils had the chance to experience a night in the shoes of an NHL goaltender. A moment he will remember for the rest of his life.