ST. PAUL, Minn. Josh Swartout played high school and college hockey, but had never been on a stage quite like the one he was on Sunday.
Here was Swartout, a St. Louis Park native, standing in goal and taking shots against former NHL players Wes Walz, Shjon Podin, Brian Bonin and Tom Chorske. He and fellow goalie Treye Kettwick were the two finalists trying to become the Minnesota Wild's new emergency goalie. During intermission of the Houston Aeros' game against Rockford at Xcel Energy Center, Swartout and Kettwick battled it out by competing in a shootout.
As Swartout took the ice, the nerves were shaking as he could feel all eyes from the announced crowd of 11,175 staring down on him. Then, on the first two shots by Bonin and Chorske, Swartout had already allowed two goals.
"I remember being out there and just thinking, 'This is the best moment of my life,'" said the 24-year-old Swartout. "Then they scored on me and I said, 'This is probably ...