By Matt Stefano
You can now add a gold medal to Jack Matier’s resume!
On Thursday night, former Soo Thunderbirds defenceman Jack Matier won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship, which was held in Frisco, Texas.
Matier and the Canadians defeated Team Russia by a score of 5-3 in the championship game, which gave the Canadians their first gold medal since 2013.
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native also finished the tournament with 1 assist in 7 games.
Matier, who currently plays for the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s, was also supposed to be in his sophomore season this year in the OHL, but the season ended up being cancelled due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Before joining the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s in 2019-2020, Matier played the 2018-2019 season with the GNML’s Soo Thunderbirds Minor Midget AAA club, where he was coached by Jamie Henderson, who has just been named as the new general manager of the NOJHL’s Soo Thunderbirds.
During the 2018-2019 season with the Soo Thunderbirds Minor Midgets, Matier led all team defencemen in scoring with 10 goals and 22 points in 21 regular season games.
That season, Matier also served as the Soo Thunderbirds Minor Midgets team captain.
Matier, who also played as an affiliate player with the NOJHL’s Soo Thunderbirds in the 2018-2019 season, made his NOJHL debut with the Thunderbirds in their 2018-2019 season opener against the Soo Eagles back on September 7, 2018.
That night (September 7, 2018) Matier and the Thunderbirds also defeated the Eagles by a score of 7-5 at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native then made his NOJHL playoff debut with the Thunderbirds back on March 26, 2019, in game six of the West Division Semifinal series against the Blind River Beavers.
That night (March 26, 2019), Matier and the Thunderbirds also went on to eliminate the Beavers 4 games to 2, thanks to a 4-3 win in game six of the West Division Semifinal series at the Blind River Community Centre in Blind River.
Following the 2018-2019 season, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native was then drafted in the 1st round (21st overall) by the Ottawa 67’s in the 2020 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
That year (2020), the eighteen-year-old also became the first player in Soo Thunderbirds Minor Midget AAA history to be drafted in the 1st round by an Ontario Hockey League team.
In his rookie season with the Ottawa 67’s in 2019-2020, Matier had 0 goals and 9 assists in 56 regular season games.
That season, Matier also helped the 67’s capture the Hamilton Spectator Trophy (OHL Regular Season Champions) after they finished the regular season in first place with 50 wins, 11 losses and 1 shootout loss, good for 101 points.
The 67’s, who had 50 wins and 11 losses during the 2019-2020 season, also tied their team records for most wins and least losses during a regular season.
Matier, who has now won a gold medal with Team Canada’s Under-18 Team, will now hope to hear his name get called at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, which will take place from July 23-24 (Location TBA).
(Photo of Jack Matier credit to hockeycanada.ca)