Cameron Dawson was originally named on substitutes' bench for Sheffield Wednesday's Good Friday showdown at Championship leaders Norwich City.
But first-choice shot-stopper Keiren Westwood suffered a knee injury in the warm-up, leading to Dawson replacing him in between the sticks.
The 23-year-old learned of his late call-up 15 minutes before kick-off.
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Having not played a competitive match in over three months, Dawson was understandably a tad rusty in the early stages at Carrow Road.
But in difficult circumstances in front of the Sky cameras, he acquitted himself well as the Owls came within a whisker of claiming maximum points.
"It is tough coming in the last minute but it is not something to complain about," Dawson told The Star. "You just have to get on with it.
"I was delighted to be back out on the pitch at Norwich. I tried to take it in my stride and put in a positive performance."
With Westwood failing to shrug off his knock in time for Easter Monday's home duel with promotion-chasing Bristol City, Dawson retained his place in the starting line-up. He produced an accomplished display, including a fine double save late on to deny Famara Diedhiou and Josh Brownhill as the visitors tried to reduce their arrears.
He said: "The last few days have been a bit weird. When you are playing every week, you are in a routine.
"But suddenly with 15 minutes to go at Norwich, I was playing.
"It was a case of trying to get through that game.
"You are slightly under prepared but you still go in and try to do your best.
"It had been a while since I had had that feeling of getting myself ready to play but I have loved every minute of it."
Although the Robins had the better of the second half, Lee Johnson's side could not find a way past Dawson.
The talented goalkeeper said: "It was great to get a clean sheet. Goalies get judged on clean sheets. It is always nice to contribute. I made a couple of saves at the end.
"It is a really good feeling when you know you have contributed to a positive result."
Dawson is enjoying working with Bruce and hopes to build on his last two performances.
"I'm delighted I have managed to get out on the pitch and show what I am about," he said. "It was about reminding people of what I am capable of.
"Obviously, the manager will not have really seen me play before so when you get the opportunity it is about taking it and that is what I have tried to do. Hopefully the manager has seen what I am all about."