Goaltender Matt Berlin, an Edmonton, Alberta native, was traded to the Thunderbirds from the Spokane Chiefs in October of 2016. For the Thunderbirds, he appeared in 14 games for a total of 712 minutes. Berlin recorded a 2.86 GAA and a .900 save percentage with a 7-2-2-0 season record. Matt took some time out of his day to chat with us about his summer and how his offseason has been.
Seattle Thunderbirds: Hey, Matt! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! How has your summer been?
Matt Berlin: It’s been really good! Nice to see family and friends after a long, successful season away from home.
ST: You were traded from Spokane to Seattle early last season. Were there any major adjustments you had to go through with a different club?
MB: There were a few adjustments, but the main one would be walking into the dressing room and not knowing everyone. The guys made it really easy for me though, we have a great group of guys here in Seattle and they made me feel welcome right away.
ST: How does it feel to be a part of a WHL Championship winning team?
MB: It’s surreal. I grew up in Edmonton watching the Oil Kings win a couple championships and I never thought that I would be able to hoist the Ed Chynoweth Cup as well. It’s a dream come true.
ST: Looking back at Game 6 of the WHL Championship, what were you feeling when True scored the game-winning goal in OT to make the Birds champs?
MB: I had a perfect view of the play and right when he picked up the rebound in the slot my heart started pounding, I knew he was going to score. It’s hard to put the emotions into words, it’s almost overwhelming. After the game, all the guys were joking around about how fast I was on the ice celebrating, so that shows the excitement that I was feeling.
ST: When you first got into hockey did you know you always wanted to play goalie?
MB: No not always. I started off as a player. I have two older brothers who were playing hockey and they always wanted a goalie to shoot on so me being the youngest at the time I kind of got peer pressured into letting them shoot on me. I realized pretty quick after that I had some decent talent at being a goalie and I just fell in love with the position.
ST: What do you enjoy the most about being goaltender? What’s the most challenging part?
MB: I love being a goaltender most because the feeling you get when you make a big save for your teammates is indescribable. The most challenging part is the mental side of the game, it takes a lot of mental strength to prepare for each practice and game to make sure you can perform at your best level.
ST: Who is the number one NHL goaltender that you have always looked up to?
MB: I have always looked up to Carey Price. His style of game is incredible and I strive to be as calm as he is in the net.
ST: What is your main goal going into next season?
MB: My main goal heading into this season is to be at my best for the entire year and that means sticking to a disciplined diet and keeping healthy. I want to give the team a chance to win every time I’m in the net.
ST: Any big plans for your summer before you head back to Seattle for training camp?
MB: No not really. The only traveling I really have done this summer was go to Kelowna for a week. Other than that, I go to my cabin at Pigeon Lake occasionally on the weekends if I have time.
ST: What type of training are you taking part in to prepare for next season?
MB: I’m in the gym working out Monday-Friday every week and on ice working on my game three to four times a week.
ST: That is all the time we have for today. Thanks for talking with us, Matt!
MB: No problem, thanks.
Seattle Thunderbirds Media & Public Relations Intern Bryn Metzger conducted the Q&A questions for Matt Berlin. The team will be posting Q&A’s during the offseason with returning T-Birds players.