Terriss shines in starter’s role

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St. Albert product stops the puck for Sherwood Park Crusaders

After auditioning for the starter’s role last season, Pat Terriss is now the main man in net for the Sherwood Park Crusaders.

“I’m very excited. It’s been going very good,” said the St. Albert product. “To be honest with you, as long as we’re getting two points at the end of the night, I will be the happiest guy out here. I just want to see us do good.”

Terriss, 19, improved to 5-3 on the season with a 29-save performance in Wednesday‘s 5-2 win over the St. Albert Steel at Performance Arena.

“It’s good motivation any time I come back to St. Albert,” said the Bellerose Composite High School grad. “It feels real good when I can put my hands up into the air [in celebration]at the end of the game.”

The former midget AAA goalie with the KC Pats (17-7-4, 2.26 GAA in 2007/08) and St. Albert Raiders (12-8-4, 2.44 GAA in 2008/09) lowered his goals-against average to 2.49 while backstopping the Crusaders to the convincing victory.

“Every night I try my best to be consistent and make every single save. I want to give the team a chance to win every time I’m in net,” said Terriss, who had a sparkling .926 save percentage after beating the Steel.

He started the season off with a bang with 33 saves in shutting out the Grande Prairie Storm 2-0 in the league opener in Grande Prairie and was named the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s player of the week.

“It’s not just one person when we win, it’s everybody,” Terriss said. “If we keep putting two points up on the board every night it’s good for everybody. Schools want winners and everyone is going to get noticed by them if we’re winning.”

As the backup last season for the short and stocky Matt Esposito, Terriss compiled a respectable 13-5-1 record and 2.52 GAA. He posted two shutouts and his save percentage was .925.

“The biggest thing this year is getting into the mental mindset that every two or three days you’re pretty much back between the pipes,” he said. “If you have a bad game it’s out the window and if you have a good game you bring that with you into the next game. You can’t put too much pressure on yourself. You’ve just got to go out there and play. It doesn’t matter what the score is or what time the game, you have to keep trying to give the team big saves.”

Stopping the puck any way Terriss can is what he does best of all.

“I like to think I’m pretty technical but I’m not afraid to throw a couple of pad stacks or a couple of interesting poke-checks every now and again. If it feels right I will do it.”

Terriss was on top of his game against the Steel. He was victimized by a shorthanded effort by Spencer Pommells in period two and a power-play tally by rookie Jeremy Olinyk in the third.

“I felt pretty good tonight. The Steel have a good team. They’re really good offensively. They have a pretty good power play and that made it difficult on me. They had 31 shots but they were really good quality, especially in the third [13 saves] when they made a real push,” he said. “It was a fun time. I know guys on that team. They have no problems razzing me. They’re trying to get into my head but I just do my job.”

Whenever Terriss can beat his hometown team, it’s a night to remember.

“It’s fun to be able to play at the junior level and come back and steal a win in St. Albert. It’s pretty special.”

His AJHL rights were originally held by the Fort Saskatchewan Traders, and when they moved to St. Albert he was Steel property. He was then traded to the Spruce Grove Saints, where his AJHL debut lasted 10 minutes (three goals-against on eight shots). The former bantam AAA Sabre was later dealt to the Crusaders. Along the way he tried out with the Edmonton Oil Kings.

“I guess you could say I bounced around the outside of the Edmonton area, but I sure like where I am now.”

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Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.