ESTEVAN - Lynnden Pastachak is ensuring that another generation of German hockey fans knows the last name Pastachak.
The Bienfait hockey product was the top scorer on the HC Klostersee team that won the Germany 4 Bayernleague championship this season. Thanks to their league title, the club will move up to Germany’s Division 3 for next season.
Pastachak’s father, Kevin, spent seven seasons playing hockey in Germany before returning home to Bienfait after his hockey career was finished.
Lynnden Pastachak grew up playing minor hockey in Bienfait and Estevan before heading to Yorkton for two seasons of U18 AAA play. He then shifted to the Estevan Bruins for four seasons of junior hockey, serving as the Bruins’ captain in his final season in 2016-17.
Then he spent three years of Alberta collegiate hockey with Red Deer College, picking up a diploma in kinesiology. In 2020-21, he played for the Bienfait Coalers of the Big Six Hockey League in an abbreviated season. Then he decided to try playing in Germany.
He practised with the Strama Tigers in the top German league, thanks to one of his father’s connections. Then he ventured to a couple of other teams before landing in Klostersee through another person who knew his father.
“Everything felt really good and felt at home, and all the guys were nice and the coaching staff was nice. Everything was just perfect. So I practised once and the coach wanted to sign me.”
Pastachak finished with 31 goals and 54 points in 31 games this season, and added two goals and eight points in five playoff games. He was one of two Canadians on the team, the other being former NHLer Bob Wren.
Some members of his team played for Germany in previous editions of the World Junior Hockey Championships.
“I always wanted to move up in competitiveness, so I went juniors and then I went to college, and then I wanted to play pro hockey, so I went over and played there, and it was definitely a step up from college hockey,” said Pastachak.
He has already committed to play for Kolstersee for next season, as have most of the players on the team, so he expects they’ll be strong again.
Pastachak decided to play in Germany because of his father. He doesn’t remember his father playing overseas, as the younger Pastachak was a young boy at the time. The only time Lynnden Pastachak recalls being in Germany came when he was playing in a tournament in the Czech Republic at age 15.
“It was something I always wanted to do since I was little. We’ve always talked about it and I’ve heard stories from him and all that he experienced, and I wanted to experience that, too, and I definitely did. They make you feel like a celebrity over there when you’re playing in the fourth league, and the fans in Kolstersee, they’re just different than anywhere I’ve played.”
The name Pastachak is still well known in German circles, too. One of the equipment managers with Klostersee remembered watching Kevin Pastachak play.
“Next year when we move up into the third league … that’s where dad played. I think Deggendorf was in the third league, so next year I’ll be playing against them. So it will be kind of cool going into their rink and they’ll be seeing Pastachak on the jersey of the away team this time.”
Winning a championship was a special feeling. He believes his last title was when he was playing U13 AA hockey in Estevan in 2008-09.
It was a great party after Klostersee won the game.
“Coming that close in other leagues, where you couldn’t win it or things didn’t work out or stuff like that, everything came together in the season. I had a good year, the team had a good year and we won it all. You’re riding high, and I’m still riding high on it. It’s something that you’ll never forget for your life. All the memories that I made that season were pretty crazy.”