Pyne’s perfect puck-stopping propels Pats to pair of shutouts

Rob Vanstone

Feb 24, 2022
Including WHL and SJHL competition, the 16-year-old goaltender has registered a shutout in three of his first four starts as a junior hockey player.  The latest goose-egg came on Wednesday, when Pyne backstopped the Regina Pats to a 2-0 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers.
It was the second shutout in as many appearances at the Brandt Centre for the White City product, who had blanked the visiting Calgary Hitmen 5-0 on Feb. 11.
Earlier, Pyne’s flawless goaltending had helped the Melville Millionaires down the host Weyburn Red Wings 4-0 in a Nov. 5 SJHL game.  Naturally, Pyne has saved some souvenirs — at least from the Nov. 5 and Feb. 11 games.
“I have the Melville puck and the first Pats puck in my room,” Pyne said after stopping all 21 Medicine Hat shots on Wednesday.  Pyne, who has spent most of this season with the under-18 Regina Pat Canadians, has twice been called up due to acute goaltending shortages.
The Millionaires, who hold Pyne’s SJHL rights, were the first to summon him on an emergency basis. It was the Pats’ turn earlier this month, after both veteran goaltenders — Matthew Kieper and Drew Sim — were sidelined by concussions.  Pyne made his major-junior debut Feb. 9, when the Pats lost 6-3 to the formidable Edmonton Oil Kings at Rogers Place. He made his home debut, in triumphant fashion, two nights later.
On Feb. 12, Pyne began a road game against the Saskatoon Blades as the backup to Spencer Welke, who was on loan from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. Welke was replaced by Pyne for the third period as the Pats lost 6-2 to Saskatoon.
With Sim back between the pipes, Pyne rode the pine for two games before returning to duty Wednesday with another flawless performance.  “I think he likes the Brandt Centre,” Pats goaltenders coach Rob Muntain said of Pyne, who has stopped all 45 shots he has faced at the Pats’ home arena.
Overall, the 6-foot-0, 149-pound Pyne boasts a 2.42 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage over 199 minutes played as a WHLer.
Until that Jan. 25 game, the Pats had not celebrated a shutout since Dec. 28, 2019, when the victorious Max Paddock was in goal for a 5-0 win over the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors.  Regina proceeded to go 88 games without a shutout before Kieper snapped that protracted drought. Now the tables have turned, as the Pats have three shutouts in their last 12 games.
According to research conducted by Kevin Shaw, Pyne is only the second 16-year-old goalie in franchise history to record two shutouts in a season. Ed Staniowski had two shutouts for the 1971-72 Pats.   Pyne, Staniowski, Jesse Deckert (2002-03) and Linden Rowat (2005-06) are the only 16-year-olds to post a shutout for the Pats.
Shaw’s research also reveals that Pyne is only the third goalie in Pats history to register at least two shutouts over his first three starts. Pyne has matched a feat that was accomplished by Ken Campbell of the 1929-30 Pats. In 1933-34, John Inglis went one step further by posting a shutout in each of his first three starts.