March 22, 2023

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid regularly fills in the scoresheet, but on Saturday he instead helped emergency goaltender Matthew Berlin add a page to his memory book.

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Working as an emergency goalie for the Oilers for a third season, Berlin was called upon to back up Jack Campbell for the game against the Chicago Blackhawks after Stuart Skinner said he was sick.

The 25-year-old, who is currently playing his third season with the University of Alberta, initially thought he would attend the game from the stands after signing an emergency amateur contract. But a few hours before the match, he was told that he was going to be much closer to the action.

“I was sitting doing my homework and my heart rate went up,” said the star of the day, according to the official website of the National Hockey League (NHL). “It was a hectic day preparing for it, but it was amazing. Everyone was so welcoming here – the players, the staff, everyone. It was amazing. I was studying for a mid-term psychology exam…”

cool time

Certainly, warming up the bench is already a noteworthy event for an athlete whose chances of earning his place as a regular in the NHL are almost non-existent. After all, he’s currently the Golden Bears’ third-most utilized goaltender.

But with a 7-3 lead, McDavid offered to send Berlin into the fray. A proposition that head coach Jay Woodcroft quickly bought into, calling on the rookie with just under three minutes to go.

“We didn’t want to disrespect Chicago, we were just trying to give someone who was here a cool time. [en lui offrant] a moment in the NHL, McDavid said. He’s still young and playing for a good program in [Alberta]and maybe we will see it one day in the League.

Berlin made a save at the expense of Caleb Jones, much to the delight of the crowd gathered at Rogers Place.


But if the moment is great for Berlin, Woodcroft, he rather savored the team spirit which reigns in his club and which made this situation possible.

“First of all, it comes from the players, specified the pilot. We just wanted to give someone an opportunity that they will remember for the rest of their life.”

“I was proud of our team, who made this decision. Campbell came to the bench during the commercial break, we told him what we were thinking of doing, and he was all for it. He was so happy for him, and the opportunity presented itself. That’s what we did, and it’s good for the young man to have made a save. I’m sure he’ll treasure that memory for the rest of his life.”

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