ECHL: Icemen’s Goalie Mafia Loses Its Godfather

Parker Gahagen, Olaf Lindbom, and Charles Williams are a trio of names Jacksonville Icemen fans have quickly come to love. The three, collectively known as the “Goalie Mafia,” split time in the Icemen crease this season, each respectively making clutch stops and ending scoring chances in breathtaking fashion. On Monday, Icemen fans learned that the mafia would be losing its veteran presence with goaltender Charles Williams announcing his retirement.

Icemen goalie Charles Williams/ Credit: Andrew Willis/ITR

Williams, who just finished his third season with the Icemen, hinted in a podcast interview on May 30th that he was weighing his options for next season. Playing a limited number of games last season, Williams spoke to his role amongst the trio of tendies as one of a mentor for up-and-coming goalies Parker Gahagen and Olof Lindbom. Speaking on The Broadway Hat, Williams stated he wanted to now turn his focus towards mental performance coaching and consulting, both ways he could stay involved but in a more behind-the-scenes role. Williams went 9-5-1 in the 2022-2023 season, finishing the year with a 2.08 goals against average and a .926 save percentage in his limited role. His work in the Icemen crease made him a fan favorite and a favorite amongst his teammates as well, being named the Icemen’s Unsung Hero during the 2022-23 team awards. He was given the honors of ECHL Goaltender of the Week back in February for the week of the 13th through the 19th, adding to his previous accolades of Goaltender of the Month, which he won for April in the 2020-2021 season.

Before landing in Jacksonville, the netminder spent time with the ECHL’s Manchester Monarchs and Indy Fuel. During that time, he also made appearances in net at the AHL level, playing four games for the Ontario Reign and twice for the Hartford Wolfpack. At the collegiate level, Williams played for Ferris State University before his senior season at Canisius College. At Cansisius, Williams was a Hobey Baker Award Finalist, Mike Richter Award Finalist and was selected to the All-AHC First Team. His retirement comes after seven professional seasons, spending the last three of those seasons in Jacksonville.

His absence leaves a void of veteran presence in net for the Icemen, as Williams has made the most appearances in net for Jacksonville with 82 games – making him the only goaltender to dress in 50 or more games for the club. The security of the Jacksonville net is now left to duo Parker Gahagen and Olof Lindbom, who have a combined 61 appearances in net for the Icemen. As the two goaltenders took on the bulk of the schedule in the 2022-2023 season, Icemen fans should be reassured that the crease is still in good hands.

Credit: Andrew Willis/ITR

Congratulations to Charles Williams for seven great seasons of play and for three very memorable seasons as the Godfather between the pipes in Jacksonville.

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis is a freelance hockey reporter covering the ECHL's Jacksonville Icemen for Inside The Rink and the Vancouver Canucks for The Canuck Way. His work has been featured on Hockey of Tomorrow and The Daily Faceoff, and can be found on Twitter/X @FromTheDrewLine.

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