The Allen Americans announced yesterday they will retire Riley Gill’s #30 jersey in a ceremony at the Americans home game on December 19. Riley will join Gary Steffes (#12) as the only two Allen players who have had their jersey retired by the Americans. It is a deserving honor for one of the best goalies in the history of the ECHL. Riley’s time in Allen began in 2014-15 when the Americans joined the ECHL and ended at the beginning of the 2017-18 season when he was injured. In Allen’s ECHL history Gill’s has played in a total of 175 games, 124 regular season and 51 playoff games. That is 121 more games than any other Allen goalie has played (ECHL only).
– Riley was always good for Allen in the regular season winning Goalie of the Year, leading the league in save percentage and leading the league in shutouts. Gill had two 30 wins seasons during his time in Allen. With all of his success during the regular season he was made for playoff hockey. During his career he was in three Kelly Cup finals and won all three. For his first Kelly Cup (2013) with Reading he started the season in the SPHL and didn’t join the Royals until the end of February. He went on to lead Reading to the Kelly Cup with a playoff GAA of 1.91 and save percentage of .930. His record was 13-3-1 and included four shutouts with two of the shutouts in the finals. For his effort he was named Kelly Cup playoff MVP.
|Riley Gill – only goalie in ECHL history with 3 Kelly Cups|
– It is clear Allen’s two Kelly Cups in 2015 and 2016 had something in common. A Hall of Fame coach in Steve Martinson, a Hall of Fame goalie in Riley Gill and a Hall of Fame forward in Chad Costello. During those years coach Martinson would talk about how Gill would be at his best in the playoffs. This quote from Martinson captures what Riley brought to the Americans. “It’s nice to know you have a veteran back there who can step up when you need him, he gives you peace of mind.” In 2015 Gill won game seven in the Western Conference finals over Ontario and game seven in the Kelly Cup finals over South Carolina.
|Action Shot – photo by Dianne Webster|
– Riley owns almost every Allen goalie record, both regular season and playoffs and several ECHL all time playoff records. Unfortunately his career was cut short when he was injured in his second game of the 2017-18 season on October 21, 2017. That would end up being the last game of his illustrious pro career.
– The retiring of Riley Gill’s jersey will be the first of other accolades to come his way in the future. In my view he is a lock to become an ECHL Hall of Famer. It will be difficult to beat his ECHL playoff records. Here are the ECHL career goalie records that Riley ranks #1 all time:
90 – most playoff game appearances: Allen (51), Reading (20), Kalamazoo (19).
5094 – most playoff minutes played: Allen (2771), Reading (1274), Kalamazoo (1049)
53 – most playoff wins: Allen (30), Reading (14), Kalamazoo (9)
11 – most wins in Kelly Cup finals: Allen (7), Reading (4)
– Since 1996-97 when the Kelly Cup was first awarded, Riley Gill is the only goaltender who has won three Kelly Cup titles. His playoff games won record is most impressive. He has 53 playoff wins, the next four in wins have 43, 42, 31 and 27.
– In addition to being a great hockey player Riley is the type of guy that excels at everything he tries. He was one of the best golfers in the state of Minnesota when he was in high school and was undoubtedly the best golfer on the Allen Americans. He has been a scratch golfer in the past. He was also the best fisherman on the Americans, something I witnessed many times first hand.
– After hockey, Riley and his wife Angie settled in the DFW area. They live in Melissa with their two sons, Jackson (age 5) and Hudson (age 2). Riley owns his own construction company, Riley Gill’s Construction. His dad was a home developer so he grew up around the business and worked construction during the summers. Riley is also able to do some goalie coaching in the area.
|Angie and Riley with Jackson (left) and Hudson (right)|