The Edmonton Oilers‘ 7-3 beatdown of the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night featured one of the feel-good stories of the 2022-23 NHL season, as emergency backup goalie Matt Berlin made his NHL debut in the third period of the Oilers’ victory. Berlin, a 25-year-old goalie for the University of Alberta Golden Bears, came into the game at the 17:34 mark as the game wound down.
Berlin had been summoned to an emergency role after Stuart Skinner was ruled out with an illness too late for the Oilers to summon the team’s regular goalies. Berlin was signed to an amateur tryout, but he was not expected to play ahead of backup goalie Jack Campbell.
With the Oilers up 5-1 by the third period and cruising to a victory, Berlin was allowed to play the final 2:26 seconds, making a save on a shot by Caleb Jones.
Berlin’s cameo was a popular one in the Oilers’ locker room, as he was awarded the team’s player of the game vest for his efforts in getting to play in an NHL game.
The feel-good story for Berlin will carry the Oilers into the All-Star break, as the team will not play again until Feb. 7.