37th Anniversary of Billy Smith’s Goal

On a November night early in the 1979-80 season, a New York Islanders goalie became the first goaltender to be credited with a goal.

As the only goalie inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in the 1990’s, Billy Smith is best known for backstopping the powerful Islanders dynasty of the early 1980’s, rattling off four straight Stanley Cups from 1980-83.

The credited goal came on the road against the Colorado Rockies when the Islanders were about to go shorthanded. During the delayed penalty Rockies defenseman Rob Ramage skated through the offensive zone and fired a shot on Smith. Ramage then followed up the rebound in the corner and fired a pass toward to the point where there wasn’t anyone.

The puck sailed down the ice and into the Colorado net for a New York goal. Since he was the last New York player to touch the puck, he was credited with the goal.

Since that time, 10 different goalies have been credited with 13 goals in the NHL. Seven goalies have scored with a shot on goal while the rest have come via own goal. Smith remains the only goalie credited with a goal to lose the game, with Colorado posting a 7-4 win. The most recent goaltender goal came three years ago when Mike Smith beat the final buzzer to score on an empty net against Detroit.

During his career, he played 675 of his 680 career games with the Islanders, winning one Vezina Trophy and one Jennings Trophy in the process.


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