November 11, 2010

Hockey Firsts: First Empty Net Goal

On November 11th, 1943 the National Hockey League recorded it's first empty net goal.

Trailing 5-4 late in a game against Chicago, Boston coach Art Ross pulled his goalie in favor of the extra attacker. But Clint "Snuffy" Smith broke in on the unattended goal and, despite Bruins defender Flash Hollett's best attempts, scored into the empty net to seal the victory.

Smith was a pint sized scorer whose impressive career landed him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He scored 161 goals and 397 points in 10 seasons, but his most impressive number was his 24 career penalty minutes. Yes, you read that right. The two time Lady Byng Trophy winner only had 12 minor infractions in 483 games! In three seasons he went completely penalty free, and in three others he took only one minor penalty each season. In his final season, 1946-47, he practically gooned the ice up with his 6 minutes in 52 games.

Read more about Clint "Snuffy" Smith here.

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