February 25, 2014
A shutout and goal in the same game? Wow, could Jared Rutledge's Saturday have got any better?
In the final minute of the Youngstown Phantoms-Green Bay Gamblers game on Saturday in the United States League, Youngstown was down 2-0 and desperate to score, with its net empty. The 19-year-old Rutledge made a save and the puck ricocheted to the left of his net. The Phantoms' pass to the point missed everything, except for the yawning cage at the other end, as you can see on the video.
The USHL confirmed the goal was Rutledge's on Tuesday.
It was definitely a big moment for Rutledge, a native of Skokie, Illinois, who played one season for the University of Michigan before decamping to Green Bay. As coincidence would have it, the last time a goalie shot the puck directly into an empty net for a goal also happened in Green Bay when Ryan Massa, then of the Fargo Force and now of the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks, did so in during the league final on May 1, 2010.
Calgary Flames prospect Jon Gillies, who was Team USA's starter at the world junior championship, was credited with a goal in 2011-12 while he played with the Indiana Ice.
Rutledge might still be working on hockey destination for next season, but as far as USHL goalie goal-scorers go, he's in some good company. That 26-save shutout was his second goose egg of the year for the Gamblers, where he's posted a 2.72 average and .911 save percentage over 38 games.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.