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Inglis adapts to being LSSU's veteran netminder
Feb. 24, 2008
By LINDA BOUVET, LSSU Sports Information Director
Heading into the 2007-08 season, Lake Superior State hockey coach Jim Roque emphatically pleaded that sophomore goaltender Pat Inglis needed time to adapt being LSSU's veteran netminder due to the absence of Jeff Jakaitis.
Inglis limped through the first half of this season as LSSU played one ranked team after another. His goals-against average crept up to 4.48. Inglis worked through the toughest mental test of his hockey career by focusing on one day at a time, and, at some moments, one shot at a time.
Inglis began looking more comfortable between the pipes in December, but struggled during January losses to Michigan State and Bowling Green State. After sitting out the Jan. 25-26 series against Ohio State, he was named the game's No. 1 star when the Lakers tied Ferris State 1-1 on Feb. 2 and again when they beat Western Michigan 3-2 in Kalamazoo on Feb. 9.
"I can't think about anything other than going out there and feeling good," Inglis said. (Against Ferris State), I felt good taking it one shot at a time. I battled hard every shot instead of worrying about if we were going to win. My focus was really good instead of my mind wandering."
Inglis' teammates fought to get the win for him against Ferris State and the shutout against WMU. He would have liked a second crack at the Broncos' shot that spoiled a shutout with 1:34 to go, but Inglis was flawless for more than 58 minutes.
"I have a close relationship with all my teammates," Inglis said. "I go out and try to do the best every game for them, and they try to do their best for me. They'll come over to the net and say, `We'll try to get this one for ya.' They are a great group of guys and work so hard. It's starting to show, starting to pay off a little more for them."
LSSU's improvement was evident during the Feb. 15-16 series at No. 1-ranked Michigan. Although the Lakers lost both games, 4-2, they were within one goal heading into the final minute. U-M out-scored LSSU 11-3 to sweep the mid-November series.
"I'm not sure if other teams do or not, but we have a close group of guys," Inglis continued. "The closer you are, the better you're going to play. We're all friends with everybody. We're working hard for the next guy, pushing them and leaning on them. Day by day, we feed off each other and battle through."
Inglis split playing time with freshman goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson during every series except one. "BMW," as he is nicknamed, has had a solid rookie campaign with a 3.00 goals-against average and .899 save percentage.
"Brian and I get along well," Inglis said. "We talk quite a bit. He's a freshman, and he hasn't experienced some stuff yet. He has a different style of goaltending, but we learn off each other. Mitch (Edmondson, the Lakers' No. 3 goalie), I can't begin to tell you how much he's improved. He's quicker and moving better laterally. Mitch and I get along really well, too. He'll always come down after the game and tell me what he thinks. He's got a good eye for the game."
Inglis, who is a 6-4, 200-pounder from Calgary, Alta., also has a different goaltending style than his predecessor, Jakaitis, who was 5-10, 175. But he learned plenty from the Lakers' all-time leader in save percentage and shutouts.
"Definitely preparation for games," Inglis said. "I actually still talk to Jeff a lot. I talked to him for about an hour the other night. When I played behind him, I tried to take in as much as I could in practice and when preparing for games. That's what he was best at -- preparation and routine - building that consistency. We were completely different goalies, but we had the same mindset about goaltending. I definitely try to learn as much as I can from him."
Inglis, the son of Malcolm and Gillian Inglis, is one of three brothers who have all played hockey. His brother, Jon, 24, now coaches a Junior B team, while his brother Chris, 19, is hoping to land with a major junior team next season. Their father is 6-foot-6 and an ex Canadian Football League player.
"When my brothers and I were younger, our parents threw us into baseball, hockey, basketball," Inglis said. "My younger brother played football, but we all liked hockey a lot."
Inglis has been a goaltender since he was 10 years old, and he has always covered a lot of space in the net.
"I've always been one of the taller kids on the team, but I could never gain weight," he said. "Finally, how I can start gaining weight if I want to. Even two or three years ago, I was 6-3 and 185 pounds."
Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey