Cornell goalie Mitch Gillam is one up on Big Red legend Ken Dryden and that’s after just his first game with the university.
In a home game versus Niagara Tuesday in Ithaca, N.Y., Gilliam became the first goalie in NCAA history to score a goal in his college debut. With the Big Red up 3-2, Gillam caught the puck in his trapper with 16 seconds remaining, moved to his left and shot it the length of the ice into an empty net. The Purple Eagles had pulled their goalie in favor of an extra attacker. It entered the net with 12 seconds remaining.
The feat is also the first time a Cornell goalie has scored a goal. Gillam, 21, is a Peterborough, Ont., native who played Jr. A with the Chilliwack Chiefs for two seasons in the BCHL.
Gillam’s empty-netter is the eighth time an NCAA goalie has been credited with a goal and the first since 2008. He joins Western Michigan’s Mike Mantua (2002) and Michigan State’s Chad Alban (1998) as goalies who shot the puck to score.
Other NCAA goalies to score are Harvard’s Kyle Richter (2008), Massachusetts’s Jonathan Quick (2007), Vermont’s Andy Allen (1998), Michigan Tech’s Damian Rhodes (1989) and Maine’s Jim Tortorella (1980).
Brian Costello is The Hockey News’s senior editor and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Brian Costello on Twitter at @BCostelloTHN