Every weekday from May 23-June 3, we will be looking back at the top-10 moments from the 2015-16 WCHA season. Up next on our countdown is…
Moment #6: Defiel Stands Tall
The WCHA has seen its share of epic goaltending performances in its illustrious postseason history; but, statistically speaking, none have been better in a regulation playoff game than the effort of Lake Superior State sophomore Gordon Defiel this past March. With the seventh-seed Lakers facing elimination in Game 2 of a league Quarterfinal Round series at second-seed Minnesota State, Defiel set a WCHA record for a postseason regulation game with 57 saves in a 2-0 shutout win.
Defiel single-handedly lifted LSSU to the win, setting a career high for saves as the Lakers were outshot 57-14. He was brilliant from the onset, turning aside 21 shots in a scoreless first period and 22 more in the second, when LSSU took a 1-0 lead at the 16:00 mark. The Stillwater, Minn. native then stopped all 14 shots he faced in the third period, allowing the Lakers to add a second goal at 10:15 and extend their season with the 2-0 triumph.
Defiel finished with the second-highest single-game save total in school history, behind only Matt Violin's 60 stops against Alaska on Jan. 17, 2003, and tied for the 24th-highest mark in WCHA annals (10th in league postseason history). The All-WCHA Third Team selection made 122 saves during the three-game playoff series.
Top-10 Moments from the 2015-16 WCHA Season