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Blazers AddTwo Goaltenders

June 23, 2004 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Oklahoma City Blazers News Release

Oklahoma City, Okla. – The Oklahoma City Blazers signed goaltenders Boyd Ballard and Sean Connors, head coach Doug Sauter announced today.

Ballard, a 5-10, 180-pound native of Weyburn, Sask. will tend goal for the Blazers for a third straight season. He finished the 2003-04 season with an 18-15-2 mark, 2.88 goals against average and .911 saves percentage. During the 2002-03 campaign, his first with Oklahoma City, he established a franchise record for appearances with 47. In two seasons with the Blazers, Ballard has a 47-27-7 record, 2.73 goals against average and .912 saves percentage. His win total places him fifth on the Blazers’ all-time list.

Connors finished his first year as a professional with an 11-13-5 record, 2.92 goals against average and .909 saves percentage. The 6-1, 170-pounder from Okotoks, Alberta set two very different franchise records last season. He established a new franchise record for consecutive shutout minutes at 162 minutes 58 seconds. On the other end of the spectrum, he also set a franchise record for consecutive losses with six. During his six-game losing streak, the Blazers scored a total of six goals, including four in one game, and were shutout three times.

Despite their win/loss records, the goaltending tandem of Ballard and Connors combined for a .907 saves percentage, the best team saves percentage in franchise history. Ballard’s .911 saves percentage and Connors’ .909 saves percentage made them the sixth and seventh goaltenders in franchise history to finish the season with a saves percentage above .900 (minimum 16 games played).

“I’m happy to have both goaltenders back in Blazers uniforms,” said Sauter. “Goaltending was not our problem last season, scoring goals was. Having two goaltenders with great numbers like those two did last season is a good start for our hockey club.”

The addition of Connors and Ballard brings the total number of players signed for the 2004-05 season to three. The two goaltenders join first-year defenseman Joel Pullman on the Blazers roster.

The Blazers will begin play in the team’s 13th season in the CHL in late October. The 60-game schedule will be released pending completion in mid-August.

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