Samuel Montembeault is dedicated to his number one role with the Canadian team

Samuel Montembeault is dedicated to his role as number one with theé ;Canadian team


Samuel Montembeault landed the role of Canada's number one goaltender for the World Championship in Riga, Latvia. At 26, he is André Tourigny's right-hand man with young Devon Levi and Joel Hofer as assistants. 

Coming out of dinner with Levi Friday night at a restaurant in Riga, Montembeault took a few minutes to describe his European adventure. 

“It's really fun,” said number 35 Canadian in a telephone interview with Journal. It's a great experience. I look at my Canada jersey and I take great pride in it. I am happy to represent my country. 

“I received a nice vote of confidence from the coaches and management of Team Canada, he continued. I know a good start to the tournament. I feel good. I would also like to play knockout matches. I will experience this for the first time since junior.

Technically, Montembeault is not his first experience with the Canadian team. 

“I had already participated in the World Junior Championship [2016], but I was there as the third goalkeeper, he replied. It was in Helsinki, Finland. I hadn't played a single minute. I was there since MacKenzie Blackwood was suspended for the first two games. I was acting as number two for the first two games. For the other meetings, I sat in the stands.

“When I received the invitation for the World Cup at the end of the season, I did not hesitate, he it makes. I found it attractive. It is also an opportunity to discover a country that I did not know much with Latvia. I want to show that I can win and that I can play a big role.” 

Good start

In his first three games in Riga, Montembeault led Canada to 6-0 wins against Latvia and 2-1 in a shootout against Slovakia, but they suffered a 3-2 loss to Switzerland. Stats-wise, he's off to a great start with a 1.31 average and a .945 save percentage.

“I'm happy with my game,” he replied. Against Slovakia, I loved the atmosphere, it looked like a playoff match. There was little space. I won in the shootout. But I look a little further. When you come here, you want to win. I would like to come away with a gold medal. At the World Juniors in 2016, we finished 6th. I hope to get a much better result!”

The former Florida Panthers also says he was amused by the atmosphere in the stands at this tournament. < /p>

“It's different from home. I find that crazy. At the start of the tournament, we spent a week in Budapest, Hungary for a camp. Fans were singing and jumping all game long even though it was a preseason game. Against Latvia, it was also the same at the start of the World Cup. Fans in Europe don't boo when they're angry, they whistle. 

“I consider myself lucky to experience this. In addition, Riga is a very beautiful city, it is clean and there are good restaurants. It reminds me a bit of Quebec. There is an old town, it is absolutely superb.”