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Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on January 28th, 2022

JJoseph Gilles Camille "Gil" Mayer - Born August 24, 1929 in Ottawa, Ontario – Died September 29, 2015 in Rhode Island, USA was a Canadian/American ice Hockey goaltender.

Mayer played junior B Hockey with the Hull Volants from 1944 to 1946, and spent a season in the New York State junior circuit with the Lake Placid Roamers. He then spent two years with the OHA's Barrie Flyers and led the league with 26 wins in 1948-49.

Mayer began his Professional Hockey career in 1949 with the AHL Pittsburgh Hornets.

Mayer made his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings on December 1, 1949 at Maple Leaf Gardens in a 2-0 Detroit win, after being called up from the Hornets. Toronto's regular goalie, Turk Broda, was suspended for weighing 197 pounds. The Maple Leafs had a weight limit of 190 pounds. Broda, 35, was the oldest active NHL goalie at the time.

In the 1951-1952 season Mayer wore # 0 because he was so hard to score against with 5 shutouts and a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 2.57 for the Pittsburgh Hornets. Now nicknamed "The Needle" Mayer was selected to the AHL all-star team for the 1950-1951 season and consecutively from the 1952-1953 season through the 1954-1955 season. The same year he won a league title, a $300 bonus, and captured goalie honors with a 3.25 goals against average. He allowed 146 goals in 52 games.

On October 21, 1954, Mayer was brought up from Pittsburgh to substitute for injured Toronto goalie Harry Lumley. As a replacement Mayer was all that could be asked and he was given practically faultless support by his fast-skating mates. The Maple Leafs surprised a Montreal Forum crowd of 14,004 by defeating the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, in a game which Harry Watson scored his 200th career goal. This was the 1st NHL win for Mayer.

Mayer played only nine games in the NHL with the Maple Leafs where he posted a career record of 2-6-1 with a 2.67 GAA.

Five times in a six-year span, beginning in 1950-51 at the age of 20, Mayer captured the Harry "Hap" Holmes Award, which was at the time presented to the goaltender who led the league in goals against. This is a AHL all-time record. Mayer was 2nd all time in AHL Regular Season Play in the following categories: 14 seasons, 680 games, 346 wins, 41 shutouts. Mayer's victory total is actually slightly higher, but statistics from the 1958-59 season remain incomplete. He was also 2nd all time in AHL Playoffs in these categories: 80 games, 50 wins, 6 shutouts.

Mayer posted 30 wins in a season seven different times, including a memorable 46-19-3 campaign with the Pittsburgh Hornets in 1951-52. He led them to the Calder Cup championships that season and again in 1955.

When the Hornets folded following the 1955-56 season, Mayer joined future AHL Hall of Famers Frank Mathers and Willie Marshall in making the move from Pittsburgh to Hershey. He spent three seasons with the Bears, playing on teams that went on to win the Calder Cup in 1958 and 1959, although he did not see any postseason action either year.

Mayer played the next two years (1959-61) in Cleveland for the Barons, and in 1959, Mayer became the first goalie in the AHL to wear a Goalie mask. Jacques Plante had given Mayer a mask after he fractured his jaw in a game.

Mayer spent the next two seasons after that in Providence before retiring in 1963, Mayer trailled only Johnny Bower in all-time AHL wins and shutouts (41) when he hung up the pads.

His lifetime GAA during regular season play was 2.89. His lifetime GAA in playoff action was 2.27.

In 2007, Gil Mayer was honoured as one of the first seven inductees into the AHL Hall Of Fame.


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