Former Virden Oil Capitals goaltender Patrick Zubick believes lessons learned on the ice and in the dressing room have helped him be successful in the classroom and in life.
In 2019, Zubick, who played in Virden during the 2015-2017 seasons, was named the valedictorian at Selkirk College in Castlegar, British Columbia. Currently at Simon Fraser University in the Vancouver area, he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, concentrating in ecology, evolution and conservation. The Castlegar product, who also plays for the SFU men’s hockey team, plans to pursue a master’s degree in fisheries science.
“Hockey helped open many doors for me educationally,” Zubick said. “After my junior career was over, I had various school options where I could continue to play hockey and get an education.
“However, the main thing hockey gave me was the lessons that I learned through my time playing, which helped me to grow as a person. This growth set me up for success when I started my post-secondary education. Without the time I spent playing junior hockey, I do not think that I would have been as prepared as I was for the challenge of school.”
He also has proven he is up for the challenge of the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League. Zubick capped his two seasons at Selkirk College by earning a spot on the league’s Second All-Star team. Last season, his first at SFU, Zubick was selected to the BCIHL First All-Star Team and was named the league’s Top Goaltender. He posted a 2.74 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. SFU head coach Mark Coletta said that Zubick works hard on all aspects of his game.
“He is one of the first guys on the ice, last guy off. … His athleticism and his compete level is really high so that’s what makes him a pretty good goalie,” the coach said.
As well, Coletta is pleased with how Zubick has fit in with the hockey program.
“He’s a good teammate. He takes the onus on himself. He’s hardest on himself. He’s a good leader in the room as well. A lot of the guys gravitate towards him,” said the coach, who emphasized that Zubick is “an all-around good person.”
After playing most of his 18-year-old season with his hometown Junior B Castlegar Rebels, Zubuick came to Virden in 2015. He posted a 2.44 goals against average while backing up Sean Kuehn, who made the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Second All-Star Team that season.
“What I enjoyed most about my time playing for the Oil Capitals was the community support that we received,” Zubick said. “The town of Virden really embraces the Oil Capitals. The passion that our fans brought to the rink made it really easy to play and definitely helped to motivate me to work harder. The community feel of the town was also incredible. You could really tell how much the town cared about the team. My billets Dwight and Shawna (Barre), along with Damian and Hali, were also fantastic people who made me feel a part of their family.”
Shortly into the 2016-2017 season, Zubick was swapped to the Dryden Ice Dogs of the Superior International Junior Hockey League. That season he had the league’s best goals against average at 2.30 and save percentage at .931. He was named the SIJHL’s Top Goaltender and a First Team All-Star. His strong play helped the Ice Dogs’ win the SIJHL championship.