Connor Ingram, the Kamloops Blazers’ starting goaltender, is no stranger to Prince Albert.
However, it’s doubtful that he made any new friends on Saturday night as he turned aside 28 shots as the Blazers, who got two power-play goals from right-winger Deven Sideroff and four assists from centre Matt Needham, bounced the Raiders, 5-2.
Ingram also was strong on Friday night as the Blazers opened this six-game East Division swing with a 6-2 victory over
the Saskatoon Blades.
The Blazers now get a couple of days off before facing the Regina Pats on Tuesday and then the Brandon Wheat Kings on Wednesday. The trek concludes after games with the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday and Swift Current Broncos on Saturday.
Ingram, who is from Imperial, Sask., played for the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos before joining the Blazers. In the spring of 2014, Ingram was sharing the Mintos’ goaltending duties with Lane Michasiw.
They backstopped the Mintos into the championship final for the Telus Cup, with Ingram getting the start against the Grenadiers de Chateauguay. All he did was stop 60 shots as the Mintos won the title with a 4-3 triple-overtime victory.
By season’s end, Ingram was 22-4-4, 1.97, .936 with the Mintos.
Last night, he improved his numbers to 12-7-4, 3.12, .904.
“It was pretty emotional,” Ingram told Jeff D'Andrea of panow.com. “It was weird sitting out here coming off (the visiting team's) bench. It was definitely different but it’s a fun place to play. A lot of good memories here, a lot of family and friends. It was something I’ll remember for a long time here.”
Ingram actually gave up the game’s first goal. It was a Teddy Bear game and the Raiders got it at 13:28 of the first period when defenceman Jesse Lees got a shot from the point through traffic and past Ingram, who never saw it.
The Blazers tied it at 17:37 after back-to-back icing calls against the Raiders meant the home side couldn’t change its skaters. After a strong Kamloops forecheck, forward Garrett Pilon, from Saskatoon, scored off the rebound of a Needham shot.
The Blazers carried the play to start the second period, but the Raiders scored on their first shot of the period, forward Reid Gardiner taking a nifty pass from Lees and notching his 20th goal of the season at 6:42.
That lead lasted until 17:53 when right-winger Deven Sideroff pulled the Blazers even with a power-play goal. With goaltender Rylan Parenteau expecting a pass, Sideroff pulled the trigger on his seventh goal of the season.
Sideroff gave the Blazers their first lead at 1:19 of the third period, scoring on a backdoor play with the visitors on the power play.
Right-winger Matt Revel, who is from Saskatoon, provided insurance with his ninth goal while the teams were four skaters aside at 14:41.
Left-winger Collin Shirley of the Blazers, who also is from Saskatoon, concluded the scoring with his 20th goal of the season into an empty net with Parenteau on the bench for the extra attacker.
Trailing 3-2 early in the third period, the Raiders had an opportunity to equalize or even take the lead when Needham was assessed a double minor for high-sticking Lees. However, the Blazers penalty-killers, keyed by Ingram, were solid in shutting out the home team.
The Blazers, who held a 33-30 edge in shots, improved to 14-10-4, while the Raiders now are 17-9-3.
JUST NOTES: The announced attendance was 2,610. . . . The Blazers were 2-for-5 on the power play; the Raiders were 0-for-4. . . . Blazers C Gage Quinney, who was playing against his former team for the first time, had two assists. He was traded by the Raiders to the Kelowna Rockets last season. The Blazers acquired him from Kelowna in October. . . . Kamloops now is 5-5-1 away from home. . . . The Blazers scratched LW Jermaine Loewen, D Nolan Kneen and D Patrik Maier, who is in the Slovakian national junior team’s selection camp. . . . F Simon Stransky was among the Raiders’ scratches. He is with the Czech Republic’s national junior team. . . .
Shirley’s younger sister, Sophie, 16, has been named to the Canadian team for the IIHF U-16 women’s world championship that is to be played in St. Catharines, Ont., Jan. 8-15. She is a forward with the Wilcox, Sask.-based Notre Dame Hounds. She was the only Saskatchewan player named to Team Canada.
John Birk says:
December 12, 2015 08:22pm
.more than once. Might think about a name change since he scored twice.