The old adage of time flying when you’re having can certainly sum up Sean Montgomery’s mood at the moment.
When the 20-year-old forward from Calgary takes to the ice tonight at the Art Hauser Center against the Lethbridge Hurricanes, he will become only the fourth player in Prince Albert Raiders history to play in 300 Western Hockey League games for the franchise.
“It just feels like yesterday that I was showing up as a 16-year-old,” Montgomery said prior to practice Monday. “It’s all gone by really quickly.
“It’s pretty surreal to still be here in Prince Albert after 300 games. I need to thank everyone involved with the Raiders, as it’s been the best time of my life.”
The overage forward trails only Brett Novak (330 games), Shane Zulyniak (318 games) and Brandon Herrod (314 games) on the all time games played list.
He enters tonight’s game tied with Tim Vanstone, who played in 299 contests over five seasons with the club.
“It means a lot to be included with those guys as there’s been a lot of good players that have been with the Raiders over the years,” Montgomery said.
When he first arrived in the league in 2014 after being selected in the sixth round of the WHL Bantam Draft a year earlier, Montgomery quickly found out from his older teammates just what it took to be successful in the major junior ranks.
“Josh Morrissey and Sawyer Lange were pretty established guys so I was able to learn a lot from them in my rookie season,” Montgomery said. “Jordan Tkatch was another really good guy to learn from as he knew what it took to prepare for games.
“The biggest thing is to stay here once you get to the league. You have to bring it every day and every night and that’s the biggest lesson I took from those veterans.”
Montgomery, who is an assistant captain on this year’s Raiders roster, is enjoying his best season to date.
Through 21 games, he has 11 goals and 14 assists to sit second in team scoring with 25 points, as he’s suited up alongside Brett Leason and Aliaksei Protas in every game.
“I guess I’m saving the best for last,” Montgomery smiled. “I’m playing with some really good linemates, so I can’t complain about how things are going at all.
“I’ve probably never been on a line that’s been playing as well as this. Brett and I played a bit last year, which I think was a huge help as we’ve just kept building that chemistry.”
The Raiders, who have a 20-1 record and currently have a 13-game win streak to go along with a 12-0 record at the Art Hauser Centre, will soon embark on a season-long seven-game road swing.
They will travel to Medicine Hat to face the Tigers on Friday, which will then be followed up with meetings against the Kootenay Ice, Red Deer Rebels, Edmonton Oil Kings, Regina Pats, Swift Current Broncos and Brandon Wheat Kings.
The team returns to the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday, Dec. 8 for a matchup with the Wheat Kings.
For the third time this season, Raiders netminder Ian Scott has been named the WHL’s goaltender of the week.
Over the course of last week, the Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick had a pair of shutouts in victories over the Medicine Hat Tigers and Brandon Wheat Kings, in addition to becoming the eighth goalie to score a goal in league history in a 3-1 win Friday over the Tri-City Americans.
Scott currently leads the WHL in wins (17), goals against average (1.39), save percentage (.950) and shutouts (four).
Trent Miner of the Vancouver Giants is the only other netminder to received the weekly award more than once this season.
Moose Jaw Warriors forward Tristin Langan was named the player of the week.
The Raiders and Hurricanes have squared off once already this year, as Prince Albert came away with a 5-1 win in Lethbridge on Oct. 5.
Following a 3-2 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors Saturday, the Hurricanes have a 9-7-2-2 record to sit in fourth place in the Central Division and currently have a four-point lead over the Calgary Hitmen and Kootenay Ice for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Hurricanes overage forward Taylor Ross has a nine-game point streak heading into tonight’s contest, which is tied with Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks for the third longest active run in the WHL.
Forward Keltie Jeri-Leon has been out of the Hurricanes lineup since Nov. 2 with an upper body injury, but was listed as day-to-day in last Tuesday’s weekly report put out by the league.
Former Prince Albert Mintos forward Logan Barlage has recorded 17 points in in 20 games in his first full season with the Hurricanes and is currently tied for fifth in team scoring.
- Moose Jaw 9 Kootenay 1 (Ryan Peckford – Four Goals and One Assist – First Career WHL Hat Trick)
- Kamloops 7 Prince George 3 (Zane Franklin – One Goal and Four Assists)
- Victoria 3 Vancouver 1 (Griffen Outhouse – 28 Saves)
- Spokane 3 Everett 2 (Riley Woods Overtime Winner – Three Goals – First Career WHL Hat Trick)
- Regina vs. Kamloops – 9 p.m.
- Calgary vs. Everett – 9 p.m.