Blazers goaltender Connor Ingram searches for a loose puck with Rockets forwards Rourke Chartier and Dillon Dube on the doorstep in WHL playoff action Wednesday in Kamloops.

Blazers even up series with defending champs

Connor Ingram stops 37 shots to lead Kamloops past Rockets in Game 4 of WHL playoff series

On Tuesday, nothing got past Kelowna Rockets’ goaltender Michael Herringer.

A night later, Connor Ingram stole the show for the Kamloops Blazers.

Ingram made 37 saves as the Blazers downed the Rockets 5-1 in WHL playoff action Wednesday at the Sandman Centre, tying the best-of-seven series at two games each.

Herringer yielded goals by Dallas Valentine and Quinn Benjafield in the game’s first five minutes, as the Blazers rebounded from a 1-0 loss in Game 3 the previous night at Memorial Arena.

Kamloops has now won five of the last seven meetings against the defending WHL champs, dating back to the regular season.

“Now it comes down to a best-of-three, two in our rink,” Rockets assistant coach Kris Mallette said on AM 1150. “We’ve allowed a team in Kamloops to gain a lot of confidence, especially over the last six games now.

“They’re a team that works extremely hard, they have some guys who can put the puck in the net and they’re riding the coattails of a goaltender (Ingram) that’s playing phenomenal hockey.”

Calvin Thurkauf scored for the Rockets late in the first to make it a 2-1 game, before Kamloops pulled away for the win with three unanswered goals, including a pair by Colin Shirley.

To start the third period, Brodan Salmond replaced Herringer who gave up four goals on 28 shots.

Game 5 goes Friday night at Prospera Place, with a sixth set for Sunday in Kamloops.

“We’ve just got to make sure—it’s so cliche—but when you win you can’t get too high and when you lose, you can’t get too low,” added Mallette. “We have to build off the mistakes that were made and make sure we limit those come Friday night at home.”

 

 

 

 

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