Top 10 Moments: Dostal's Improbable Save

Top 10 Moments: Dostal Pulls Off Improbable Glove Save

Apr 25, 2023

By AJ Manderichio/

With the 2022-23 season in the books, looks back at some of the biggest moments, from individual highlights to impressive theme nights and more. Today we kick off our Top-10 Moments series, spotlighting goaltender Lukas Dostal.

It seemed like an easy tap-in tally.

The San Diego Gulls and Bakersfield Condors clashed at Pechanga Arena San Diego for the Gulls’ annual Military Appreciation Night, facing off on Nov. 11, 2022. The Condors got off to the fast start, with Greg McKegg carrying the puck over the blue line just after the start of the game. His drop pass found Seth Griffith, who quickly fired a cross-ice pass to a cutting Carter Savoie. The rookie held the puck as he curled toward the net, finding an open McKegg waiting on the other side. With the net wide open, McKegg went for the redirect, sending the puck sailing toward the middle of the net and a sure goal.

That’s where Lukas Dostal came into play.

The Gulls goaltender peered over his shoulder, seeing the play break down in real time. With a push that looked effortless, he spun his body and slid toward McKegg, reaching out his glove to snare the attempt as it soared dangerously close to the goal line. He kept his glove out of the net, snatching it toward his chest with a dramatic snap for the highlight-reel save.

"Probably the save of the year so far," said the recently retired Gulls head coach, Roy Sommer. "I've been coaching a long time, and I haven't seen a lot like that. That's what we have in net. We have a great goaltender, that's for sure."

The save stymied Bakersfield for the moment, but the Condors responded to score twice in the game and skate away with a 2-0 victory. Dostal stopped 23-of-25 stops in the loss. The netminder recorded the second-longest shutout sequence in club history (longest: 137:30, John Gibson, Oct. 21-30, 2015 over three games) and longest of his American Hockey League career, not allowing a goal for 116:22 minutes of play and making 55 consecutive saves spanning over three games from 6:14 of the third period on Nov. 4 vs Milwaukee to 2:36 of the third period tonight against the Condors.

Over a five-game span, including that Nov. 11 loss, Dostal owned a 2.00 goals against average and a .945 save percentage. 

Dostal would go on to post several highlight-reel saves in his third full season in San Diego. He also added a stellar American Hockey League All-Star Challenge performance to his resume, earning co-Most Valuable Player honors with Calgary netminder Dustin Wolf. The duo led the Pacific Division to its first Challenge title since the league debuted the 3-on-3 format in 2017. The Brno, Czechia native was the second consecutive goaltender to win the award, following Vitek Vanecek (Atlantic) in 2020. In addition, Dostal recorded two assists, tying Christopher Gibson (2018, Atlantic) for the most helpers by a goaltender in an All-Star Challenge/Game (since 1995).

Dostal capped his season with the Anaheim Ducks, joining the club for the remainder of the season following a Feb. 11 call-up. He played in a career-high 19 games – including 17 starts – in his extended NHL run.

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