Last week Scott Foster found himself between the pipes in front of 20,000 Blackhawk fans at the United Center in Chicago.
The Oak Park, Illinois, accountant stepped in for the NHL's Blackhawks as an emergency goaltender after Anton Forsberg was injured in warmups and Collin Delia left in the third period with cramps.
"From my perspective, this is a dream," Foster said after the game, having stopped all seven shots he faced in Chicago's 6-2 victory.
Derek Schaedig has a similar story that led him to the Lincoln Stars.
No, the 19-year old is not an accountant, but his four games with the Stars in the 2016-17 season in an emergency situation put him on the USHL map.
With then-Stars' goaltenders Cayden Primeau (Team USA) and Joseph Korenar (Czech Republic) selected to represent their countries for international competition, the Stars were without a goaltender.
Schaedig was on rehab after being injured earlier in the season with the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League, and Lincoln, needing a goaltender, called in a favor to borrow the Chelsea, Michigan, native for four games.
"Honestly, I just kind of thought it was surreal in the moment," Schaedig said. "At that point I was just going to take advantage of this opportunity, come up here (to Lincoln) and just do whatever I could."
Like Foster, who plays recreational hockey, Schaedig was in an unfamiliar situation. The USHL is bigger then the NAHL, with faster, more skilled and more mature players.
"I just kind of smiled real big and looked around," the Harvard commit said. "I just enjoyed the moment and whatever happens, guys are going to have my back."
The goaltender won the hearts of Stars fans after posting a 4-0-0 record and yielding only 1.74 goals against per game. He earned USHL goaltender-of-the-week honors and was later drafted by the Chicago Steel in the first round as the 14th overall pick in the 2017-18 USHL Entry Draft. Schaedig was later traded back to Lincoln in the preseason.
Though Schaedig is not an everyday starter, that has not stopped him from helping the team.
"It's a difficult situation to be in, because everyone wants to play every game, especially for a goalie because we can only play one of them," Stars coach Cody Chupp said. "It's difficult; most places there comes a point in the season where there is a No. 1 (option) and a No. 2. The way with us, I would describe it as we have a 1-A and a 1-B (with Tomas Vomacka)."
In 16 games this season Schaedig has a 9-4-1-1 record with a 2.74 goals-against average.
Schaedig and the Stars host the Des Moines Buccaneers at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Ice Box as the Stars push for a playoff spot.