Mon Apr 16 08:25pm EDT
Jon Gillies led the USHL in saves, minutes played and wins this season with the Indiana Ice. Now he has added another impressive stat: a goal.
Gillies, who is ranked sixth among North American goalies by NHL Central Scouting for this summer's draft, was credited with an empty-netter in the Ice's 6-3 win over the Des Moines Buccaneers on Saturday in South Bend, Indiana. Late in the game, which was held at Notre Dame's arena — did some of that fabled luck of the Irish rub off on Gillies? — the netminder went behind his net to play the puck. The Buccaneers played it behind the net and then a centring pass went between the point men and skidded all the way down the ice into the Des Moines net. Since Gillies was the last Ice to touch it, he got credit for the goal.
Obviously, it's a fluke play. Many of the goals scored by goalies came as a result of the other team putting the puck in their vacant net (literally vacant, not post-lockout Toronto Maple Leafs era vacant).
Exactly half of the 12 goalie goals in NHL history were own goals, in fact. That said, it is a unique occurrence and Gillies is deserving some attention after the regular season he had for the Ice. The native of South Portland, Maine, 52nd on TSN's Craig Button's top 60 list for the draft, had a 2.77 average and .915 save percentage during the regular season. The 6-foot-5 Gillies also helped the Ice finish second in the USHL's Eastern Conference.
Gillies was recently released from his commitment to Northeastern University after the Huskies older goalie opted to return for his final season. At last check, he was deliberating between finding another NCAA team or perhaps joining the QMJHL's Quebec Remparts. (Former Indiana teammate Adam Erne plays in Quebec, for what it is worth.)
Gillies could conceivably play for a Hall of Fame goalie, Patrick Roy, in Quebec, but Roy was never credited with a goal in his illustrious career.
(Stick taps: Dave Soline, Greg Wyshynski.)
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (video: USHL).