Luck of the Irish enhances new helmet as Shamrocks head into playoffs


The Killarney Shamrocks are hoping the luck of the Irish is on their side tonight at the Shamrock Centre as they begin their playoff run, and their goaltender’s new “lucky” helmet sure can’t hurt.

Shamrocks goaltender Brian Archibald is debuting his new look helmet tonight against the Wawanesa Jets, and he couldn’t be happier with it.

“It’s the same guy that did my OCN helmet that I had before – Jason Bartziokas,” said Archibald of the helmet that Bartziokas had done for him while playing with the OCN Blizzard of the MJHL a few years back. “He does a pretty bang-up job. He’s done masks for Chad Johnson with Buffalo. He’s done Cam Talbot before. He does a lot of AHL guys too. And a lot of WHL masks, like the Wheat Kings. He also did the Olympic mask that Shannon Szabados (Team Canada goalie) is wearing right now in Pyeongchang.”

Archibald said that Bartziokas, who describes himself as a custom goal mask painter and fine artist on his Facebook page, mostly does junior hockey masks and up – to the NHL.

“I was kind of lucky that I was a repeat customer, to get a senior hockey helmet done by him,” said Archibald of his new Shamrock infused mask. “It’s lucky that I got in back then (with the OCN mask) because he’s been pretty busy since. He doesn’t take on too many new clients anymore, just because he has his repeats every year with various teams and customers. In my opinion he’s the best there is.”

Archibald said he leaves a lot of the design up to Bartziokas, because he’s exceptional at what he does.

“I just give him a little background on the team,” he explained. “So for the Killarney helmet I said I’d like to see a team focused helmet, and then tie in the ag background obviously, coming from a farm myself, and Killarney’s a pretty big ag community. The picture of the combine (on the helmet) is actually my dad driving that combine.
So I sent it to him, and he redraws it and puts it on the helmet, and ties it in.”

Archibald is very proud of his new lucky lid, and looks forward to debuting it tonight in front of hometown fans.

“We play Friday (tonight) at 8:30 p.m. in Killarney, and Saturday night in Wawanesa, and it’ll be a tough series. We had a week off to rest up and get ready to go,” he said of the first place Shamrocks’ bye in the first round of the THHL playoffs. “Wawanesa had all their guys showing up for the last series, and they’ve got a deep roster when everyone’s there. So it should be a good, tough series for us. I’m looking forward to it.”

PLAYOFF READY – Brian Archibald (below) makes a sweet glove save in the second last game of the regular season against the Hartney Blues, which the Shamrocks won 6-3. Archibald, pictured wearing his OCN Blizzard helmet, will be donning his new mask (above) tonight in front of the hometown fans at Shamrock Centre.