At the age of 14 and one of the youngest players at the tournament, Zach Sawchenko made the most of his experience at the Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup.
Not only did he post a 1-1-0-1 record throughout the tournament, but he was also named the All-Star Goaltender for his stellar play.
“It was just a great experience,” he said. “Team Alberta was super fun and things went well for me.”
The Moose Jaw Warriors prospect is currently playing with the Notre Dame Argos of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League and felt prepared when he faced Team Saskatchewan in Game 3 of the tournament.
He posted a 33-save shutout in a 3-0 win over Saskatchewan and was named player of the game.
“I played against all those guys on that Sask team and I know all them. It was just really great to shut them down to show them that Team Alberta was still on top at that point,” he stated.
With such a short tournament, it was imperative that the young goaltender was ready to face a lot of action in between the pipes.
“I felt prepared and ready, which was great because with the short tournament every game is a playoff game and every point matters in the long run,” Sawchenko said.
Team B.C. put together an offence attack on each team they faced and the final game was no different as they convincingly won 9-3 over Alberta for the title.
“B.C. had a really good team and they were really skilled and fast,” he stated. “Are we disappointed? Maybe a little, but we are still proud.”
He made 24 saves on 29 shots in 45 minutes that he played after coming in for Patrick Dea midway through the first period.
The Calgary native was happy to be able to represent his province and is excited to play against these elite players in the Midget AAA League.
“It was amazing. Especially being 14-years-old and being a younger guy. I know that I can play at that level and shut guys down at this level as well.”
Sawchenko was not expecting his name to be announced as the top goaltender.
“To be honest, I knew I had a good tournament, but it surprised me. It was fantastic and it was such a great opportunity for me,” he stated. “It definitely showed people that even though I am young, I am still good, but there is still room to improve.”