Every season, the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League announces its all-star teams at the end of the regular season. When the Parkland Rangers hosted the Norman Northstars this past weekend, they ended the season with two straight wins. It was also an extra special Sunday afternoon for Russell's Keaton Ziprick.
The 17-year-old had another solid season in net and he was rewarded for his contributions. The second-year U18 Ranger was named to the second all-star team. He received the award and a golf bag just prior to the team's 8-4 win against the Northstars.
"It feels amazing. I didn't even really know it was a thing before I won it," said Ziprick. "When Coach Footer told me I won it, it was a really special feeling, and it means so much to me."
Throughout the season, Keaton won 12 games as he took over the number 1 role for the team. He had a 3.86 and a .900 save percentage. That save percentage is extra impressive because of what Ziprick faced all season long. 1205 shots were sent his way which adds up to him facing just more than 37 shots per game. One of his best performances came when he made 54 saves in a 2-1 win against the first-place Winnipeg Wild.
He also made 36 saves in a 2-1 win against the Yellowhead Chiefs, who are contenders in the league.
"I think this season went pretty good. I had a solid team in front of me and I just tried to focus on every shot," continued Ziprick. "There were some pretty great moments, I think that win against the Wild was the best one."
Keaton also picked up his first-ever junior regular-season win when he played against the Wolverines earlier this season after Matthias Smith was injured. The off-season has now arrived for Keaton and the rest of the U18 Rangers. Keaton is still eligible to return to the Rangers next season which would be his final one.
However, he will try to crack the Dauphin Kings roster.
"I have a big couple of months ahead of me, I have to work hard, get in the gym a lot and prepare for camp," concluded Ziprick. "If I don't make the Kings, I'll be back with the Rangers."