Chicago Wolves goalie Max Lagace only faced 21 shots during Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. That gave him time to do other things ... like score a history-making goal.
Lagace became the first American Hockey League goalie ever to be credited with a goal in the Calder Cup Playoffs in Chicago's 5-2 win over the Gulls on Saturday night at Pechanga Arena, a win that puts San Diego on the brink of elimination.
The goalie's goal came in the 3rd period. Chicago was called for a delayed penalty the Gulls pulled goalie Kevin Boyle, a strategy every hockey team on the planet uses. This time, however, Isac Lundestrom's pass ended up sliding into his own empty net. Since Lagace was the last player to touch it (he made a save) he gets to count the goal as his and it was a back breaker.
That goal put the Wolves up 4-2 when the Gulls were thinking they'd have a power play with a chance to tie the game. Adam Cracknell and Jacob Larsson scored for San Diego.
So Chicago takes a 3-2 series lead. This is the first time in three post-season series that the Gulls have trailed. The bad news is they'll have to win two straight games in Illinois to win the West and advance to the Calder Cup Final. The good news is San Diego has been one of the best road teams in the playoffs so this series is far from over.
Game 6 is Monday night and Game 7, if (hopefully) necessary, would be on Wednesday night.