Shantz breaks Red Wings’ mark for goals

Dayton Shantz became the all-time goal-scoring leader for the High Prairie Red Wings on Feb 9 when he broke the mark of 97 by Mikal Chalifoux.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Dayton Shantz has become the all-time goal-scoring leader for the High Prairie Red Wings junior hockey team.

The local forward scored his 98th career goal on Feb. 9 when the Red Wings hosted the Mayerthorpe Northern Alberta Lightning in National Junior Hockey League action.

Shantz scored with 7:20 left in the third period and added another goal 13 seconds later for goal No. 99.

The team captain and forward in his final eligible year of junior hockey was humble about the historic goal.

“My teammates were more fired-up about my record-breaking goal than I was,” Shantz says.

He reflected more on his team when he scored the goal.

“I thought about everyone on the team who has helped me the last couple of season,” Shantz says.

He broke the previous record of career goals by Mikal Chalifoux, who tallied 97 goals from the 2019-20 season to 2021-22, his final season of age eligibility.

Shantz says his time with the Red Wings has been memorable.

“I’ve played with a lot of good hockey players and they’ve become some of my best friends,” Shantz says.

“I love the game.”

Shantz is one of many Red Wing players who have come through the High Prairie Minor Hockey Association when the team started in High Prairie in October 2020.

After the season concludes, he has his eye on the next level of hockey.

“I want to go to college or university and play,” Shantz says.

“I’m excited to see where that takes me.”

He says the local team has a special place in his heart.

“I’m proud to be a Red Wing and lead the team as captain,” Shantz says.

“It’s been a tough season and we get better every day.”

High Prairie head coach Trent Meyaard says Shantz has set a high mark and worked hard to achieve it.

“It’s a record that in my opinion that will never be broken,” says Meyaard, in his third season as coach.

“Dayton is a special player and comes from a family of hockey talent.”

His father, Tyler Shantz, played for the High Prairie Regals in the North Peace Hockey League.

“Now, Dayton holds many of the junior records in High Prairie,” Meyaard says.

The coach commends the young Shantz for his illustrious junior record and career.

“Dayton’s work ethic and commitment every day leads to other factors,” Meyaard says.

“Dayton’s vision on the ice and ability to create plays with his deception is impressive to watch. It’s a contagious skill we see other players picking up. Dayton is irreplaceable on and off the ice.”

His hockey future is optimistic, the coach says.

“Dayton plans to head to Ontario for college or university,” Meyaard says.

Meyaard adds Shantz is a strong role model.

“Watching Dayton’s leadership takes form as captain in his final junior season is impressive,” Meyaard says.

“He has always been a quiet leader, but very effective.

“A player like Dayton is someone we well never see come through this team again,” Meyaard says.

“I’m very thankful I was able to watch him the last three seasons and create a very close friendship.”

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