This Day In Sports: The end for the one-and-only Ingraham

May 24, 2002, 20 years ago today: Boise’s first legit hockey star, Cal Ingraham, hangs up his skates after four seasons with the Idaho Steelheads.Ingraham, a former University of Maine Black Bear, joined the fledgling franchise in its second season in 1998 after three ECHL seasons at Tallahassee. His final Steelheads appearance was in Game 6 of the 2002 WCHL Taylor Cup Final, a classic contest won 3-2 in double sudden death overtime by the Fresno Falcons.

Ingraham ended his career as the Steelheads’ all-time leader with 175 goals (he’s now second to Marty Flichel) and is the only player in the history of the old WCHL to score 50 goals in three straight seasons. By comparison, the Steelheads’ ECHL-era record for goals in a single season is 45, set by Mark Derlago in 2009-10. What Ingraham lacked in size (he was 5-5, 160 pounds) he made up for in craftiness and ingenuity. He also owned the fastest hat trick in WCHL history, scoring three times in 1:15 in a game against Colorado in 1999.

The Steelheads were on a rapid ascent in the Ingraham years, making the Taylor Cup Final in both 2001 and 2002 before his retirement. Cal was the first Steelhead to have his number (22) retired by the organization—that happened at the beginning of the 2002-03 campaign. Three other Steelies legends have followed him: Jeremy Mylymok (4), Scott Burt (12) and Flichel (16). Like so many players, Ingraham decided to settle down in Boise. He’s been a fixture in the local insurance industry for 20 years. Does time fly? Ingraham will be 52 years old next month.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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