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VIDEO: Former Vancouver Giants captain Zack Ostapchuk makes NHL debut with Senators

‘My dream as a little kid is coming true’

Zack Ostapchuk got the call on Monday, March 11, from the coach of the Belleville Sens, the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL Ottawa Senators.

Ostapchuk, the former Vancouver Giants captain, would be making his National Hockey League debut against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Senators called up Ostapchuk after centre Rourke Chartier suffered an upper-body injury against the San Jose Sharks and winger Parker Kelly was serving a two-game ban.

“My dream as a little kid is coming true tonight,” Ostapchuk told reporters during a pre-game scrum posted online by the Senators.

“It’s a really special moment for me and my mom. I’m just excited I could share that with her. “

It was an emotional experience when Ostapchuk phoned Charlene, a single mom, who used to get up early to drive him to the rink.

“She was a little surprised at first, then she got choked up, and so did I,” Ostapchuk recalled.

“I can’t thank her enough,” he said.

Charlene grabbed a flight to Ottawa to see her son play.

“It’s his dream,” she told a TSN interviewer.

“He just loves the game. It’s his passion.”

Wearing number 38, Ostapchuk took the traditional solo lap for rookies playing their first game in the NHL

Then, playing in his first NHL game, the centre cut off a pass going to Sidney Crosby in overtime that ultimately led to a game-winning goal and an 2-1 victory for Ottawa.

“It was probably the coolest night of my life,” Ostapchuk said afterwards.

READ ALSO: Giants sign Zack Ostapchuk

Ostapchuk, a former Giants captain and MVP, was described as “a talented, driven player and an explosive skater “ by WHL Giants GM Barclay Parneta when the then-15-year-old signed with the Langley-based team in 2018.

In 2021 Ostapchuk signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Senators.

READ ALSO: Giants forward Ostapchuk signs with Senators

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Vancouver Giants crown newest captain

Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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