A special thing happened on Wednesday night in Waywayseecappo. Russell's Keaton Ziprick earned his first-ever MJHL regular season. He made 12 saves in relief of Matthias Smith as the Kings beat the Wolverines, 6-5.
"It was a pretty special thing to be a part of the team and to be able to play, that was an amazing feeling," said Ziprick. "When Laflamme scored, I was so excited to win my first game and more importantly, the team got their third win."
Ziprick ended up playing just less than 30 minutes in the game. He also made a massive save on former King Jaymes Knee to keep the game alive late.
"I wasn't really nervous, I think it was just first-game jitters," he continued. "I didn't play my best, but I didn't play horrible."
Ziprick will likely get his name called a lot this year for the Parkland U18 Rangers. The 16-year-old goaltender from Russell has already played in three games for the team this year, out of four.
After playing 19 games last season with Zach Grouette being the number one goalie, Keaton is in that same position this season.
"It feels good being the number one goalie," said Ziprick. "I have a feeling I'll get to play a lot if I continue to play how I am right now and that's a good feeling."
"I definitely have a lot more confidence in myself than I did last year," he continued. "Not being a first-year player and having last year's experience has definitely helped me."
In his three games this season, Keaton has made 108 saves. He also has two 42-save performances to his name.
"I feel like I've been playing pretty well here to start the season," continued Ziprick. "I need to come out of my net more and track shots better, however. That will help me moving forward."
With an 0-4 record, Parkland will look to get in the win column starting tomorrow. They're in Portage for the league's Showcase. First up is a battle against the Winnipeg Thrashers and they also play the Interlake Lightning.
Earlier this campaign, Parkland dropped a 6-4 decision against Interlake and a 4-0 game against Winnipeg.
"I have a feeling that we're going to go into Portage and have a good weekend," continued Ziprick. "As long as everyone comes and plays hard, we can make it a good two games."
After this weekend, Parkland will be back at Credit Union Place on Wednesday against Yellowhead for the "Pink the Rink" game.
"Everyone on this team is committed to working hard and everyone wants to win," concluded Ziprick. "It's a good attitude in the dressing room and I think that will help to make the season better."