Q&A with Matt Berlin
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.