Scott stifles Kelly, Belleville in AHL debut

Prince Albert Raiders goalie Ian Scott (33) stops a shot from Lethbridge Hurricanes centreman Dylan Cozens (24) during the second period of their Dec. 13, 2017 WHL game from Prince Albert. Evan Radford/Daily Herald

Raiders goalie picks up first professional start, win vs. junior hockey teammate

Current Prince Albert Raiders are continuing to find success in the pro ranks.

Nine days after forward Parker Kelly made his debut with the American Hockey League’s Belleville Senators – scoring his first goal in his first pro game – goalie Ian Scott notched his first win in his first start with the league’s Toronto Marlies on Sunday.

Scott’s win came against Kelly and the Senators.

“It was pretty exciting. I had a bunch of nerves and excitement going into it. But I think the guys helped me along pretty well, and so did Piero (Greco), the goalie coach,” Scott said of the win and the game.

The Raiders netminder is a draftee of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. He signed an Amateur Tryout contract with the Marlies, an affiliate team of the Maple Leafs, last Monday.

Sunday evening, he stopped 30 of 33 Belleville shots to help the Marlies to a 4-3 win, giving the team a 54-18-2-2 record to cap off its regular season as it heads to the playoffs.

Two of Scott’s saves were on shots from Kelly.

Scott said his counterpart made sure to chirp him about the saves.

“Yeah definitely, that’s who he is; he’s a pest to play against, but it’s nice to have him on your team,” the goalie said with a chuckle.

“But I was against him last night, and he wouldn’t let me forget that – I got a few shots on me from him. It was good. I talked to him after the game, too; it was a pretty exciting experience for both of us.”

Along with playing against Kelly and his pestering, Scott said the skill levels of the AHL players stood out to him during the game.

“It’s a lot faster game, and the size of the guys – they’re a lot bigger and a lot stronger,” compared to the Western Hockey League, he said.

Scott said the higher speed and skill levels forced him to position himself in net more quickly and more efficiently.

“I’ve worked with goalie coaches on being more efficient with my movement, too. So that’s making smarter moves to get square and really working on my angles, so that’s another thing that comes up in higher levels.”

The Marlies ended their regular season as North Division champions in the AHL.

They’ll now play the Utica Comets in the postseason, starting on Saturday, in hopes of reaching and winning the Calder Cup.

Scott said he’s not yet sure if the Marlies will ask him to stay in Toronto and on the roster for the postseason.