Who Gets The Win if a Goalie is Pulled?

A hockey team can have up to two goaltenders dressed up for a game. The roster, which has 23 players in total, must have two goalies; a starting goaltender, and a backup.

So, who gets the win if a goalie is pulled? This is a question first-timers might want to know about.

How does a goalie get a win in hockey? The goalie that is on the ice when his team scores the winning goal gets the credit for the win. 

Different situations make people argue about who gets the win if a goalie is pulled. We will discuss all the scenarios of how a goalie gets a win in hockey. 

Read Also; How many players are on each side of a hockey team? 

What is a winning goal in hockey?

A winning goal is scored by the player who puts the puck into the net to give his team the lead. When a goalie is pulled and an opposing team scores a goal, that goal is credited to the team, not to an individual player.

So if you’re asking yourself “Who gets a win if a goalie is pulled in hockey?” you’ve come to the right place!

It’s important to remember that when a goalie is pulled and your team scores another goal, it’s still not over until the winning goal has been scored in the game.

Why would you pull a goalie?

Some of the most common situations in which you’ll see a goalie pulled include:

  • When you have to play shorthanded and you’re behind by one goal
  • When an injury happens. 
  • For tactical reasons. 
  • When the goalie is tired and has to do a line change. 

Who gets credited with a win or loss as a goaltender in the NHL?

When you see a goalie credited with a win or loss, it’s easy to assume that the person who was between the pipes when his team scored the final goal will be credited with either a win or a loss.

However, this isn’t always true. There is one scenario that can make all the difference in how your goaltender receives credit for his performance: whether he entered during the regulation time or overtime.

Here’s how things work: If your goalie enters at any point during regulation time and your team goes on to win, he’ll be given credit for both playing well enough to win and being there when these efforts resulted in success. 

On the other hand, if your goalie enters at any point before overtime play (or after) and gets pulled from play before an opposing team scores their first goal of that period—meaning they never get another shot on net—he won’t get any credit at all!

There are four scenarios in which this situation can pan out. I will talk about them below;

1. First Scenario

If a team is losing a game and the goalie gets injured and eventually pulled for the backup goaltender, but his team goes on to win the game, the backup goalie takes credit for the win. 

Here is a typical illustration; 

For example, the New York Islanders are losing 3 – 0 to the Toronto Maple Leaf at the start of the game. If the New York Islanders happen to pull their goalie and go on to win the game 4-3, the backup goalie earns the credit. 

2. Second Scenario

So, what if both goalies go on to have a winning moment on the pitch? Who gets the win? In cases where a team is winning the game. And that team goes on to win regardless of them changing their goalie, the backup goalie still gets the win. That is because he was in the net when the winning goal was scored.

Below is a good example of this situation; 

If New York Islanders are winning 2-1 in a game and their goaltender gets pulled, but they go on to still win 3-2, the backup will get the win. That is because the third goal is regarded as the winning goal. 

3. Third Scenario

If a team scores an early goal but the goaltender gets pulled out shortly after, but the backup goalie comes in and sees the team to a 3-0 final score, the starting goalie wins the game. That is because the first goal is regarded as the winning goal and the starting goaltender was in the net when it was scored. 

4. Fourth Scenario

What if a goalie gets pulled during overtime in hockey? If a goalie is pulled during overtime, and his team wins the game, then the goalie who was on the ice at the end of regulation gets credited with the win. If his team loses ties, then he gets billed with that outcome instead.

That is why goalie stats are written in this format; 19-5-7 It means the goalie has 19 wins, 5 losses, and 7 overtime losses.

See Also; What is Overtime in hockey?


Goalies love getting a win for any game they contribute to winning. However, that is not always the case as they might get pulled out due to injury or tactical reasons. The bottom line is that the goaltender has to be in net for the winning goal before he can get credit for a win.

So, I believe you now know who gets a win if a goalie is pulled in hockey. 

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