Chad Costello is the East Coast Hockey League's reigning MVP and, on Wednesday night during the Colorado Eagles' 5-3 win over Las Vegas, he tied a league record by scoring three shorthanded goals in a single game.
That's obviously a pretty impressive accomplishment, even if there was an element of randomness and luck to it. It also shot him to the top of the ECHL leaderboard for shorthanded goals this season, putting him into a tie with Joey Crabb of the Alaska Aces.
According to the ECHL, the only other player in league history to score three shorthanded goals in a game was Jamey Hicks in 1998 for the Birmingham Bulls.
For the curious, the only NHL player to accomplish the feat was Theoren Fleury, on March 9, 1991, with the Calgary Flames in an 8-4 win over the St. Louis Blues.
To put it into even more perspective, there were only 15 players in the ECHL last season who scored three shorthanded goals for the entire year. There were 16 in 2010-11 and 15 in 2009-10.
Costello has never made it past the American Hockey League in his professional career, appearing in 19 games with three teams over the past couple of years.
He has bounced around various minor leagues since the 2007-08 season (the ECHL, the CHL, the IHL, the AHL) but seems to have found his niche in the ECHL. He's leading the league in scoring with 47 points (14 goals, 33 assists) by eight points over teammate Jeremy Combs. He finished last season fourth in the scoring race with 29 goals and 47 assists -- despite playing in only 46 of the ECHL's 72 games.
The 26-year-old forward wasn't drafted and has never signed with an NHL team.