Sunday, March 25th, 2018 will be a day the Sautners never forget.
Flaxcombe's Ashton Sautner stepped onto NHL ice for the first time that night representing the Vancouver Canucks after receiving a call-up this past weekend. His parents, sister, her fiance and his wife were all on-hand to watch the milestone moment unfold in the Lonestar State when the Canucks visited the Dallas Stars.
The 23-year-old defenceman played a sound debut for the Canucks, recording two hits and two blocks in 12:54 total ice time in a 4-1 Canucks win.
It was only a matter of time before he was set to play his first NHL game. Sautner is a former captain of the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings, the team he won a Memorial Cup with back in 2014.
His father, Blaine Sautner, is very familiar with the game himself.
Blaine played junior hockey in Flin Flon and at the collegiate level with Brandon University. He has coached the Battlefords North Stars, Flin Flon Bombers and the University of Regina Cougars before calling his retirement a few years ago.
Blaine and his family were unsure how they were going to make it to Dallas, Texas after finding out on short notice that his son was on active roster for that game. But, as he explains, it all worked out in the end.
It was a big moment for Ashton Sautner's hockey career considering he had just signed a two-year extension with the organization.
Even Canucks General Manager Jim Benning expressed how Sautner has made improvements in his game since joining the club and playing in the AHL for Vancouver's farm team -- the Utica Comets.
Despite the nervousness and excitement felt by both Ashton and his loved ones that night, they knew he was going to play a strong game. Blaine spoke about the entire experience.
He also spoke about the treatment his son has received since joining up with the Canucks and in his son's debut.
Now that his first NHL game is out of the way, Sautner will be looking for more opportunities to impress on the ice. The Canucks have suffered a number of injuries on the blueline this season, so this is the perfect opportunity to acquire some NHL experience and impress management.
For now, Ashton and his family will be taking it one step at a time. They just want to enjoy the moment.