This is what Cornell University freshman netminder Mitch Gillam will remember for the rest of his life. Whether or not he ends up playing professionally somewhere, he'll always know that in his first game as a college player, he scored a goal:
Gillam's empty-netter would put the exclamation point on a 4-2 Big Red victory over Niagara. He was given the start ahead of Andy Iles, whose 80-game start streak was snapped.
You know any time there's an empty net at the other end, goalies just have it in their heads that if they get the puck with enough space they're going to attempt a shot, which is what Gillam told Thomas Fleischman of the Ithaca Journal.
This wasn't even Gillam's first goal of the calendar year. While playing for the BCHL's Chilliwack Chiefs in January, a shot that deflected off Gilliam ended up going off the boards and into the opponents' empty net.
Accordingto College Hockey, Inc., Gillam is the eighth NCAA Division I goaltender to score a goal and the third to shoot it himself.
Not a bad way to introduce yourself.
Thankyou everybody, it was an amazing night for me to get my first NCAA start, goal and win. Wouldn't want to do it anywhere else than Lynah
— Mitchell Gillam (@gillyg00se) November 27, 2013
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