PRINCETON, N.J. – Former ECHL All-Star and current Iowa Stars goaltender Mike Smith recorded three assists and made 35 saves in a 6-1 win at Peoria on Friday.
The three assists tie the American Hockey League record for most assists in a game by a goaltender with New Jersey Devils netminder Martin Brodeur being the last to accomplish the feat while playing for the Utica Devils in 1993.
“That’s not a bad guy to be up there with,” Smith told The Des Moines Register. “Obviously it’s pretty exciting.”
Only four goaltenders have had three assists in a game over the 70-year history of the AHL.
Smith fed Toby Petersen for a breakaway on the game’s first goal at 6:47 of the first period. After Peoria tied the score, he hit Mathias Tjarnqvist with a pass that led to a goal by David Oliver at 3:43 of the second period. Smith’s third assist came at 16:11 of the third period when he hit former Atlantic City defenseman Brian Fahey with a pass leading to a Vojtech Polak goal.
In his first professional season in 2002-03, Smith was named to the ECHL All-Star Game and was 11-10-4 with a goals-against average of 2.55 and a save percentage of .910 in 27 games with Lexington and was 5-5-0 with a goals-against average of 3.23 and a save percentage of .906 in 11 games with Utah of the AHL.
In his third professional start on Oct. 22, 2002, Smith picked up not only his first win and his first shutout, but also scored his first-ever goal in a 2-0 win over Dayton. With Lexington leading 1-0 late in the third period, Dayton dumped the puck behind the net where Smith gained control and flipped it out of the zone. The puck hit in the center face off circle and then slid untouched into the empty net at 19:04. The then 20-year-old became the youngest goaltender to score a goal in a professional game. The goal was featured on ESPN’s NHL 2Night.
Smith became the sixth goaltender in ECHL history to score a goal. Brian Eklund of Pensacola became the seventh ECHL goaltender to accomplish the feat when he scored at Mississippi on Dec. 5, 2003 and Trevor Koenig of Atlantic City became the eighth when he scored at Wheeling on Mar. 2, 2005.