Called to Nashville from Milwaukee over a week ago when Preds netminder David Rittich was placed on the NHL’s COVID list, Ingram backed up Juuse Saros until Sunday night as the Predators faced their second game in less than 24 hours.
From above, Ingram didn’t appear nervous whatsoever, instead tracking the puck with relative ease and making just about every save he had to en route to becoming just the second Preds goaltender to earn a win in his NHL debut. Approximately 15 minutes after Predators Captain Roman Josi was the first to congratulate him in the crease, the Saskatchewan native confirmed not only his lack of nerves, but also the fact he was still trying to realize what had just occurred.
“I mean, I surprised myself – I had a little [pregame] nap in, so I must have not been too nervous, I guess, if that’s a possibility,” Ingram said of the day leading up to his first NHL appearance. “It was really exciting. Everybody at home was really fired up, too.
“I still don’t think it’s hit me a little bit. Ignorance is bliss, almost, at this point, where you don’t really realize what’s going on yet. But I feel good. You jump out to an early lead like that, and it’s a lot easier to play goaltender. It was lots of fun.”
Later in the evening as the Preds flew back to Nashville, Ingram took to Twitter and posted the following message: “9 months to the day that I stepped away and went into the @NHLPA program for help I played my first game. Amazing the things that happen when you put your mental health first. #LetsTalk”
Tweet from @CBIngram1: 9 months to the day that I stepped away and went into the @NHLPA program for help I played my first game. Amazing the things that happen when you put your mental health first. #LetsTalk pic.twitter.com/NHUj0IcNX9
As of Monday morning, the Tweet had over 10,000 likes, and Ingram had received an outpouring of support from the hockey community and beyond.
Nine months ago today, Ingram, who was serving as Nashville’s goalie on their taxi squad during the 2020-21 season, voluntarily entered into the League’s Player Assistance Program.
After receiving the help he needed, Ingram returned to the ice, and less than a year later, he accomplished something every young goaltender dreams of – collecting the puck after earning an NHL victory.
“That start was well earned, and to win, you can see it in this game – the way he played, he has a lot of confidence,” Josi said of Ingram. “He’s calm, and that’s how he is off the ice, too. He’s an awesome teammate, and like I said, it’s a huge deal to get your first win.”
“I’m really happy for him,” Preds Head Coach John Hynes said of Ingram. “Guys are hockey players, but they’re people, too. He went through a little bit of a struggle last year, but I give him a ton of credit. He spent a lot of time here in the summer and really got himself going. I thought he had an excellent training camp, and I was talking to someone before the game, and I thought, ‘Was he going to be ready to go?’ And he was. He knew he had a good training camp; he’s put the work in and it’s nice to see a person develop as a player, but more importantly as a person. I was really happy for him that he was able to perform the way he performed tonight and get the win.”
Video: Ingram, Josi recap 5-2 win in Minnesota
The future on the ice is never “certain” for someone in Ingram’s position – he may very well be back in Milwaukee soon when Rittich is able to return – but the rookie’s journey from Jan. 25 to Oct. 24 is one that is to be applauded.
Yes, Ingram won on Sunday night, but he’s already taken his life back. That’s the greatest victory of all.
“I pretty much just took it like any other day,” Ingram said. “Dad always says it’s just a game, so if you dig back in the history books, no matter what happened today, the sun is going to come up tomorrow. It’s just a little higher stage to play hockey.”
Predators Power Play Coming to Life:
Even before the Predators entered the win column on the road for the first time Sunday night, they had found success on the weekend in another area.
Nashville’s power play, which had converted twice through the team’s first four games, has now capitalized on four occasions in the past two outings, good for a 28.6 percent conversion rate to slot ninth in the League.
Video: NSH@MIN: Josi deposits long Duchene rebound for PPG
On Saturday in Winnipeg, the Preds unit including the likes of Nick Cousins, Philip Tomasino and Tommy Novak went to work, with Cousins and Tomasino scoring on the man advantage. On Sunday in Minnesota, it was Nashville’s top unit with Roman Josi, Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene, Filip Forsberg and Mikael Granlund that converted twice in the game’s first six minutes.
The Predators are getting their looks as well – nine of Nashville’s 30 shots on goal came on the power play Saturday, and 10 of their 29 shots followed that pattern on Sunday.
So, what’s been working, especially over the past 48 hours?
“Well, I think today it was kind of simple things,” Josi said Sunday in Minnesota. “Getting shots to the net – my goal was a rebound, Joey’s was kind of a tip and rebound – so, just getting pucks there, and then [Saturday] night, same thing. One, we scored off a rebound, the other one was off the ref, so yeah, it’s simple things, getting pucks to the net, and our net-front guys are doing a great job.”
Video: NSH@MIN: Johansen scores Predators’ second PPG in 1st
“The attention to detail that the guys are playing with is, I think, a big difference,” Hynes said. “I mean, they’re all talented, skilled players, but lots of it is there also needs to be detail on it, so I think the detail, the execution, the speed at which we’re playing with on the power play has been a big difference. We’re shooting, guys are knowing what to do with the puck before they get it, there’s very good support on the break-ins and in-zone, on Josi’s unit, our faceoffs were very good, we won a lot of faceoffs, we’re able to start in the offensive zone and lots of good, little things. When the power play doesn’t go well, lots of times it’s little things, and when it does go well, there’s little things and details that happen, and we had that tonight.”
Preds Prospect L’Heureux has Six-Point Game:
Zachary L’Heureux had himself an afternoon on Sunday in Halifax.
Nashville’s first-round pick (27th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft, L’Heureux tallied a goal and added five assists for his junior team, the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, to help them to a 6-3 win over Cape Breton.
After that offensive outburst, L’Heureux now has three goals and 11 points throughout just five games this season, and the forward leads the QMJHL in points-per-game at 2.20.
Check out the highlights from the day below – and yes, L’Heureux still has fantastic flow.
Tweet from @HFXMooseheads: Getting Monday started with some delightful highlights of our 6-3 win over Cape Breton. #GoMooseGo pic.twitter.com/4JlqQdGaDC
Mike Fisher Celebrity Clay Shoot Set for Wednesday:
The Third Annual CATCHIN’ DEERS Mike Fisher Celebrity Clay Shoot presented by Cooper Steel will be a fun afternoon of clay shooting hosted by Mike Fisher and the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub.
The 100-bird course clay shooting tournament will be hosted at the Nashville Gun Club along the beautiful Cumberland River. All levels of play are welcome to participate, including beginners (must be 18 or older). Each team of four will be paired with a celebrity and safety officers will be on hand to assist.
Registration includes ammunition, an exclusive shooter gift bag, boxed lunch & dinner, post event beverages and awards. The tournament will start at 1 p.m. with 100 targets per participant. Prizes will be awarded for the first and second team winners, in addition to a first-place individual overall winner.
Click here for more information and to reserve your team or sponsorship.
Milwaukee Admirals Update:
The Admirals will look to bounce back this week after dropping a pair of games to the Chicago Wolves last Friday and Saturday by 3-2 and 6-1 scores, respectively, to move their record to 1-2-0.
Ads forward Egor Afanasyev scored his first North American professional goal on Friday night with a power-play strike, and defenseman Matt Tennyson also tallied on the man advantage in the 3-2 loss, while Joseph LaBate scored Milwaukee’s only goal on Saturday.
Afanasyev (1g-2a), Tennyson (1g-2a) and Cole Schneider (2g-1a) are all tied for the team lead in scoring with three points. In addition to Schneider, LaBate has scored two goals on the season, while defensemen Jeremy Davies and David Farrance each have a pair of assists.
Milwaukee will face Chicago once again on Friday night before traveling to Grand Rapids to face the Griffins on Saturday.
Goal of the Week:
Video: NSH@MIN: Jeannot swats Trenin feed into net on rush
Assist of the Week:
Video: NSH@MIN: Johansen finds twine for second goal in 1st
Predators Official Podcast:
The Predators conclude their first homestand of the season as the 2021-22 campaign truly gets underway. Preds Head Coach John Hynes joins the show to talk coaching, settling in Nashville, family life and more; plus, Brooks Bratten and Pete Weber discuss the recent NHL Stadium Series press conference in Nashville and announce another Preds ticket giveaway – listen to learn how to enter and win!
Upcoming Bridgestone Arena Events:
In addition to Predators hockey, there are plenty of other exciting events coming to Bridgestone Arena. Make plans to attend your next concert or show today.
Oct. 27: Elevation Nights: Elevation Worship & Steven Furtick (negative COVID-19 test or vaccination card required for entry). Click here for tickets.
Oct. 29: NEEDTOBREATHE: Into the Mystery Tour (negative COVID-19 test or vaccination card required for entry). Click here for tickets.
Oct. 30: RESCHEDULED U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game – University of North Dakota vs. Penn State University (negative COVID-19 test or vaccination card required for entry). Click here for tickets.
Week In Review:
Ingram Earns First NHL Win as Preds Find Victory in Minnesota
Preds Score Four but Fall to Jets in Winnipeg
Season’s First Road Trip Brings Rejuvenated Feel for Preds Once More
Predators Assign Forward Mathieu Olivier to Milwaukee
Tomasino Scores First NHL Goal as Preds Fall to Rangers
Predators, Bally’s Corporation Announce Sports Betting Partnership
Josi, Ekholm Praise Fanbase as Preds Prepare to Host NHL Stadium Series
Preds “Smashville Spectacular” Set to Redefine NHL Stadium Series
Duchene, Jeannot Help Preds to Beat Kings, Earn First Win of Season