On Sunday, the Newfoundland Growlers took the ice at Mary Brown's Centre, ready to battle the Adirondack Thunder. As is customary in minor league sports, the team had made a roster transaction before the game, and had added a new player to the roster.

That player was 47-year old Terry Ryan.

Ryan has an impressive hockey resume: eight games in the National Hockey League, and another 184 in the American Hockey League. That said, a few years had elapsed since his last shift in a professional hockey game.

21 years, to be exact. Yet, on his 47th birthday, Ryan was dressed and ready for the face-off of this Sunday matinee, and here's how it went.

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Terry Ryan Plays First Pro Game in 21 Years Against Adirondack Thunder

When it came to the toughest customers in hockey, Terry Ryan was about as tough as they get. Check out this clip from 1999, when Ryan was with Montreal:

One game played that season. Five penalty minutes recorded. Efficiency at its finest.

Ryan would play his final game at the professional level --- ironically, in the ECHL with Cincinnati, the same league in which Newfoundland plays today --- during the 2002-03 season. His hockey career extended far beyond that date, however, as he would play more than a decade in senior hockey leagues such as the WCSHL, NLSHL and CWSHL through the end of the 2022 season.

More recently, the hilarious Ryan has found a second career in front of the camera. He currently plays Ted Hitchcock, or "Hitch", on the hit hockey comedy series Shoresy:

This wasn't for the small-screen, however: this was a real-life, honest-to-goodness ECHL game. Not only that, but the Growlers were in desperate need of a victory on Sunday, having lost to the Adirondack Thunder twice earlier in the week.

Here's how it unfolded, via FloHockey:

Yes, that's right, he even got into a fight:

That was the only fight that Terry Ryan was involved in that day. Granted, there was almost a second one:

In the end, however, it was the Glens Falls-based Thunder who emerged victorious, winning by a score of 6-2. For hockey fans in the Capital Region, it was the perfect day: an incredible story of a return to the ice for Terry Ryan, and a resounding victory for the Thunder to complete the three-game sweep.

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