Dave Ayers knew the call could come, he just didn’t know when.

Ayers, 38, was lying in bed, feeling a bit sick on Dec. 4 when his phone rang. It was Kyle Dubas, assistant general manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Dubas needed him in Rochester, N.Y. right away to backup Jonathan Bernier for the Toronto Marlies —the Leafs’ AHL-affiliate — in a game against the Americans. Ayers got up, grabbed his gear and got to the game just over an hour before puck drop.

“I ended up battling some traffic,” he said. “I didn’t have much time because the warmups started at 6:25 and I got there at 5:50. It was kind of rushed.”

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