Pats Zackary Shantz snaps skids with Overtime Winner

Some monkeys jumped off the backs of the Regina Pats and forward Zackary Shantz on Saturday.

Over the weekend, Shantz ended the Pat’s seven-game losing streak with a dramatic overtime winner against the Victoria Royals.

The 18-year-old said during the post-game show with Dante De Caria that being the overtime hero was a new feeling for him.

Pats Zackary Shantz. Photo: Keith Hershmiller Photography

“It was pretty cool, never had one of those before, seeing all the guys after the game with smiles on their faces in the room and everything was awesome to see.”

Shantz said Saturday’s goal ranks as one of his all-time favourites, along with his first career goal in the Western Hockey League and his goal in Game 6 of the Pats’ first-round series against the Saskatoon Blades last season.

For Shantz, the overtime winner also ended an 18-game goalless drought, something he is glad to see come to an end.

“To score and celebrate with the teammates I think is the best part.”

The Sucker Creek, AB product was happy to see the Pats on the winning side after some tough losses during their losing skid, including four games decided in either overtime or a shootout.

“I think we needed that after those tough overtimes we had.”

The winning goal resulted after Shantz drove to the net and scored on a loose rebound. Creating traffic in front of the net is something that he wants to keep on doing.

“A good shot from the point and the goalie just bobbled it and I just jammed it in.”

The shot from the blue line came from the stick of Samuel Barcik, who was playing in his second game with Regina. Earlier in the week, the defenceman was part of the package the Pats received in the deal that saw Alexander Suzdalev head to the Blades.

Shantz said Barcik has made an immediate impact in the Regina lineup.

“That’s something we needed a big right-hand shot, he can move up pucks quick, I think he’s been everything that we needed.”

A big reason for the Pats picking up the win on Saturday was goaltender Kelton Pyne. The White City product was solid in Regina’s loss to Saskatoon, making 37 saves. The following night, Pyne backstopped the Pats to win with 28 saves. Shantz says the goaltender has been playing well recently.

“These last couple of games with a couple of big saves, of course, he’s been saving our day.”

The Pats have been a team dealing with a lot of transition over the last couple of weeks, with trades that saw veterans like defenceman Parker Berge and forward Borya Valis leave the team along with players like Moore, Barcik, Ty Gibson, Harper Lolacher and Tyson Buczkowski arriving to Regina.

There have been plenty of mixed emotions inside the Pats locker room over the past couple of weeks, according to Shantz.

“It’s obviously tough to see guys go that you been with for awhile, but it’s exciting to see these new guys coming in and what they bring.”
Wednesday will mark the final time that teams in the WHL can make any moves to their roster, with the trading deadline at 4:00, Saskatchewan time.

The Pats will return to the ice this weekend with three games in three days. On Friday, they will host the Vancouver Giants at the Brandt Centre. The following night, the Prince Albert Raiders will visit the Brandt Centre, and then the Pats will conclude the three-game stretch with a visit to Saskatoon to meet the Blades.

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