Jr. Jake Zimmerman and Jr. Brent Paarlberg have many similarities. They both score goals, with Zimmerman at 6 and Paarlberg at 9, and they both are playmakers, racking up the assists with Zimmerman sitting at 6 and Paarlberg at 8. Even with these similarities they have their differences. Zimmerman’s play most resembles that of a magician, working his magic to fool the other team. Paarlberg’s play most resembles that of a bulldozer, plowing through whoever stands in his way and doing whatever it takes to put the puck in.
Zimmerman dances his way through the Unity Knight’s defense making each defender look like molasses. After he finishes off the final man, he has an open lane for a shot toward the goal, but Zimmerman sees something different. He turn back into the defender and makes a move that fakes the goalie out and leaves Zimmerman with an open net for the goal. “He always tries for the extra play to get the goal or past the defensman, and it usually works out,” said Jr. Brian Burns. To call Zimmerman a magician is the best way to describe his play. His ability to handle the puck along with his fancy skating skills allow him to fake out even the best defenders.
Paarlberg bulldozes down the ice with the puck and runs straight through a Hudsonville forward. Once he regains the puck, he take off towards the defensemen. Paarlberg takes the puck wide around the defensemen and sees an open lane toward the goal and takes his shot from the top of the circles. The puck finds its way past the goalie and into the net for a goal. These are both common sights if you make it to one of West Ottawa’s varsity hockey game. “Brent will always put the puck on net any chance he gets, from anywhere on the ice,” Said Sr. Brandt Vanheest. Paarlberg may not have the fancy puck handling skills of Zimmerman, but what he lacks in style he makes up for with his powerful skating and strong hands.
While both players will not hesitate to celebrate an achievement on the ice, it is Zimmerman’s showmanship, that can only be called flashy, that sets him apart. After a great goal against the Unity Knights, when all eyes were on him, he slid across the ice in front of the benches. Nearly every goal scored by Zimmerman is followed up by a new and creative way to celebrate, which many times will leave his teammates trying to catch him to celebrate. Paarlberg is not the most timid player on the team after a goal, but compared to Zimmerman, his celebration is calm. Mostly he will just receive the hugs and pats from his teammates on the ice, and then go through the line of players off the ice for his high fives.
Come support your West Ottawa Panthers this weekend at home when they take on the Unity Knights at home Friday @ 8:00. Also, come out to the Edge ice arena this Saturday for a game against Northview @ 3:30.