2015-16 CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week Q&A
David Shantz – March 14-20
ECHL: Congratulations on winning the CCM/ECHL Goaltender of the Week! This is the fifth time in your career that you have won this award. With so many talented goalies in the ECHL, how do you keep yourself consistently playing at such a high level?
David Shantz: Thank you. Regardless of the field, preparation and perseverance are critical for success. However, as most goaltenders in the league will attest to, the recognition of this type of weekly award is heavily derived from the success of the team. Without the support and collective efforts from the players on a nightly basis, such acknowledgment wouldn’t be possible.
ECHL: You’ve played with several pro markets – what do you like best about playing in Wichita?
DS: The players and personnel. I’ve been very fortunate throughout my career to play and work along side some great individuals and this year has been no different. There’s a great core of players and staff that have continued to support and encourage each other on a daily basis which has been invaluable this season. Regardless of the varying amount of team success, it’s ultimately the friendships and memories created over the course of the season that define the experience.
ECHL: The ECHL regular season ends in just about two weeks – if you had to reflect, what would you say the biggest lesson you learned this season was?
DS: Perseverance, perspective and professionalism. Whether it’s hockey, school, work or another endeavour, nobody is immune from the challenges life throws our direction. I would be doing my teammates and I a disservice if I said that this season has been easy. However, it’s provided an invaluable opportunity for growth and maturation. Everyone handles adversity in their respective ways, but the trials of this year have provided a great platform for me to refine who I am and what’s significant to me and my family moving forward. The lessons of perseverance, maintaining perspective, and adhering to the professionalism of how to work, and how to treat others in the midst of limited results have been a great vehicle for personal development. It hasn’t been easy by any means, but I have a great family who have always provided sound advice and unwavering amounts of support.
ECHL: Are there any goaltenders you try to model your game after?
DS: Not particularly. I just strive to become the best version of myself that I can.
ECHL: Looking back on your career to this point, what has been your proudest ‘hockey moment’ so far?
DS: It was after the 2010-2011 season that I decided to take my life in a different direction; at the time I had no intention of playing again. After a few lengthy conversations with Dan LaCosta, about potential coaching/education opportunities at the university level, he mentioned that I would have a single year of CIS eligibility if I ever felt like playing again. At that time it would have been just shy of three years since I had skated and had even taken shots. To work my way back from that type of hiatus and be able to compete at this level again has been a pretty special journey over the last year and a half. However, it really started with the opportunity to play for Gardiner MacDougall at the University of New Brunswick. The ability to play here in Wichita wouldn’t have been realized without Dan, Gardiner, Rob Hennigar and the rest of the UNB Varsity Red players and staff that were so incredible to me and my family as a I tried to regain my timing and form.