Jacob Ingham stopped 33 of 34 shots in regulation and every shooter he faced in the shootout to secure the extra point for the Steelheads against the Ottawa 67’s on Friday night. Liam Ham’s third period tying-goal paved the way for Cole Carters shootout winner and the 2-1 victory.
The first period of Friday night’s game is one that the Steelheads will feel they at least deserved to go to the dressing room with the honours even. A Lucas Chiodo goal as a 67’s power play expired ruined the scoreless first. Merrick Rippon’s patience on the play paid off, the defenceman finding Chiodo with a nice backdoor pass to put the 67’s up a goal. The Steelheads had a nervous moment in the first, a violent collision involving Jacob Ingham in front of the net made some around the arena gasp but the veteran netminder would shake it off and remain in the game. The Steelheads would push back in the first ultimately outshooting the 67’s 13-8 in the frame.
The second frame was a frustrating one for the Trout, outshooting the 67’s by a significant margin but were unable to find a way past Cedric Andree. A partial break for James Hardie had some fans holding their breath for an equalizer but his backhand effort was turned aside. A bevy of power play opportunities helped the Steelheads take control of the game going into the third.
The final period was when Liam Ham found a way past Cedric Andree, his goal at the 16:17 mark of the frame would pull the Trout even. Alan Lyszczarczyk’s feed found Ham as he walked into the slot, and the defenceman made no mistake ripping a shot past Andree on his blocker side. Ham said of finally breaking through with his game-tying goal; “we’re playing top-tier teams so not everything is going to go in the net and you take the bounces that you get.”
60 minutes solved nothing, with the score knotted at one. This game headed to overtime. In the extra frame, the teams traded chances early and often. A 2-on-1 mere seconds in for the Trout was followed up shortly after by a breakaway chance for Kevin Bahl. Jacob Ingham would turn away the big defenceman’s attempt ensuring that both early chances went begging. The Steelheads thought they had won the game with only seconds remaining after Cole Carter’s shot caught a piece of Cedric Andree and then the post. A suspicious lack of the habitual pinging-iron noise had the Steelheads bench hollering for a further review of the play. The goal was not to be after a longer look and the teams headed to the shootout.
Jacob Ingham stayed locked-in all game despite the earlier collision, and the netminder would take over in the shootout. First stopping 24 goal-scorer Marco Rossi, then 53-goal scorer Tye Felhaber and finally 20-goal scorer Sasha Chmelevski to secure the win for the Steelheads. Cole Carter’s neat backhand finish was all the offence the Steelheads needed thanks to Ingham and the Trout trotted out with their 56th point of the season.
James Richmond talked about beating the conference leaders in back-to-back games; “the last two games our guys have played really well as a team. We talked about around the trade deadline that we might be able to surprise some teams. I think we did that yesterday and we did that today.”
Some notes from the game; the Steelheads second shootout win of the season ended Ottawa’s nine-game winning streak. Liam Ham’s goal was his seventh of the season and marked a new career-high for goals in a season.
The Steelheads return to action Sunday for their 2nd Annual Pucks N’ Paws game against the Windsor Spitfires at 2:00 PM.