Tokarski Ended Up Winning The Game After Being Given "Night Off"

Published on December 18th, 2023 1:54 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The goalie Dustin Tokarski had a day to remember in 2012. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski has had a long and interesting career.

Over the course of his 17-year (and counting) career as a professional hockey player, Tokarski has played for the likes of the Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning, to name a few.

Tokarski has spent a great deal of time in the AHL, and this is where one of his craziest stories took place.


In October of 2012, Tokarski was playing for the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.

Tokarski was meant to get the start against the Binghamton Senators later that night, and he was mentally preparing himself for the game as he drove to the rink.

On the way to the game, Tokarski was carjacked at knifepoint.

Tokarski called the police and gave a statement after the incident had ended.

Tokarski was understandably late for the game after everything had wrapped up.

After racing to the arena, Tokarski was given the night off. He could take some time to decompress on the bench, be around his teammates and hopefully put the incident behind him.


Fate had another plan for Tokarski, however, as he was called into action.

The game was getting out of hand in the second period, as the Crunch were down 5-0 and desperately needed a spark.

There was a brawl that saw both starting goaltenders get ejected from the game. There was no choice - Tokarski had to enter the game.


The unexpected entry into action must have been therapeutic for Tokarski, as he put on a show, holding his team in the game as they made a remarkable comeback.

The Crunch battled all the way back, tying the game at 5-5 before eventually winning 6-5 in overtime.

Tokarski, who had been held up at knifepoint just a few hours earlier, made 14 saves and eventually won the game.


Tokarski's teammates toasted him in the back after the game, and Tokarski had a story that he would be able to tell people for decades.

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