Friday, May 11, 2012

2012 Draft Blog: Mike Matheson Pt.4

Michael Matheson is a native of Quebec who just finished playing his rookie season in the USHL for the defending champion Dubuque Fighting Saints. His first blog entry here with us was made public back on October 3rd and gave readers a sense of where he's come from and what has led to the position he is in today. He continued his 2011-12 story with chapter 2 at the end of November. The blueliner added a third entry in mid-February.

Here now is the fourth chapter in the 2012 Guest Player Blog written by defenceman Mike Matheson.

Photo: Jim Naprstek
Hi everyone. I am writing this after being home for just over a week now in Montreal. It has been great to be back home with my family and friends, after being away for the first time this year. Although it has been nice, I feel like I have arrived home way too early. I continue to feel like there’s something missing and I know exactly why.

My team and I finished off the season well by winning six of our last seven games. We entered the playoffs in 3rd place in the East. We faced the U-17 NTDP Team in the first round. We beat them 2-0 in the three game series. 

We then moved on to the second round and faced the Indiana Ice, who had a by in the first round. They were a team loaded with offensive power that capitalized on every chance they got. They took two leads early in the game with us tying it back up both times. They pulled away in the third and took the first game 5-2. We felt like we had played a good game, but not our best, which meant we knew we could beat them. 

Game two started a little differently. They took had a two goal lead at the end of the first. We came out in the second and scored within the first couple shifts. The Ice scored once more to regain the two-goal lead, but we came back and tied it up. Unfortunately they scored right at the end of the second. Indiana scored twice more in the third to win 6-3. Although we were down 2-0 in our five game series, we were still very positive and confident that we could come back. 

We fought until the end in game three but just couldn’t buy a goal. It was difficult for us to handle the loss, knowing that our season was over. We began the season with the goal of winning the first back-to-back Clark Cup in 18 years, but not being able to attain that goal hit us hard.

Even though our season didn’t end the way we wanted, my year with the Dubuque Fighting Saints was an amazing experience. We had great fans who were there for us every game at home, as well as many away. The city of Dubuque was a perfect hockey town. We had the opportunity to involve ourselves in the community, which really opened our eyes to what a nice place Dubuque is. 

I wanted to take the opportunity to thank all the fans in Dubuque for your support, everyone involved in the organization for always making sure there was a good crowd at every game, my billet parents JoAnne and Don Gibson for taking care of me so well, my coaches for pushing me to my limits and helping me develop my game as much as possible, and most of all my teammates for battling until the end without ever giving up.

Now that I am back home, I have been concentrating on getting myself ready for the NHL Combine. I train with David Arsenault at Painstation in the same Montreal suburb that I live in. It should be pretty exciting to have all the top prospects in one room, pushing themselves as much as they can. I will write another entry between the Combine and the Draft, as the excitement keeps building.

Thank you for reading!

You can follow me on Twitter @MMatheson7 

Michael Matheson is a defenceman listed at 6'1 and 178 lbs. He's described as a solid skater with strong passing skills and a calm, mature demeanor on the ice. He represented Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka tournament and he ended the 2011-12 campaign with 11 goals and 27 points in 53 regular season games plus 4 goals and 5 points in 5 playoff appearances. He's currently ranked 32nd overall by ISS and 30th in North America by NHL Central Scouting for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

(Photos: Jim Naprstek, Dubuque Fighting Saints, USHL)   

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