Montgomery set to break Raiders games played record

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Prince Albert Raiders forward Sean Montgomery controls the puck during a game at the Art Hauser Centre against the Portland Winterhawks last season.

He hasn’t tried to think about it a lot over the last couple of weeks, but Friday’s road game for the Prince Albert Raiders will mark a milestone night for overage forward Sean Montgomery.

When the 20-year-old from Calgary takes to the ice for a matchup against the Calgary Hitmen, he will make in his 331st appearance in a Raiders uniform and will pass Brett Novak for the most games played in team history.

“As we’ve been coming up towards this week, I haven’t really talked about it a whole lot and it hasn’t really affected me a lot to be honest,” Montgomery said Thursday afternoon.

“Now that’s it getting closer though, it’s starting to set in a little bit and it’s a real nice honour to be able to hold the record.”

Montgomery became the fourth player in team history to play 300 games back in October and later passed Brandon Herrod and Shane Zulyniak on the all-time list on his way to tying Novak for the team record Monday in a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings.

“I actually got that the chance to meet Brett during the pre-season when we were in Warman to play the (Saskatoon) Blades,” Montgomery said. “We didn’t really talk a whole lot about the record. It was more a quick hello and talking about how things were looking for the season.

“When you come into the league as a rookie, you really aren’t thinking about the future a whole lot as you just want to get better as a player and stay in the WHL. However, once the games start to add up, it really becomes a special feeling to know that you’ve been in the league for a long time.”

On his way to becoming an assistant captain with the Raiders this season, Montgomery was able to learn a lot from his fellow teammates, especially current Saskatchewan Huskies forward Jordan Tkatch.

“I looked up to him a lot during my first two seasons in Prince Albert,” said Montgomery, who played with Tkatch from 2014-16. “He brought it every single time he played and we’re both pretty similar in how we approach the game.”

Montgomery is enjoying a career year in his final campaign in the WHL, as he’s set a new single-season high in goals (21), assists (27) and points (48) for the league-leading Raiders.

“There’s been some ups and downs along the way, but to be a part of success that we’ve had as a team this season has been great,” Montgomery said.

“I think what sticks out more then anything though is just being with the guys and building those bonds together, especially when you are out on the road for weeks at a time.”

In addition to being able to set the record in front of his family and friends, Montgomery will also be playing in an unique venue as the Raiders and Hitmen will square off in the Stampede Corral.

“I think the only time I’ve been there was for a couple of events around the Calgary Stampede, so to be play a hockey game there is going to be really cool,” Montgomery said. “It’s going to be a special night in a number of ways.”