Select Page

Montembeault Replaces Blackwood At World Juniors

Montembeault Replaces Blackwood At World Juniors

Mackenzie Blackwood and Mason McDonald were initially named as the only two goaltenders for Team Canada at the upcoming 2016 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, but a suspension to Blackwood has forced them to announce a third goaltender.

That goaltender is 19-year-old Samuel Montembeault of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the QMJHL.

Montembeault was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the third round of the 2015 NHL entry draft earlier this year, and is 7-10-4 this season, with a 2.79 goals-against-average and .886 save percentage.

Blackwood will miss the first two games of the tournament because he will be serving the final games of a massive eight game suspension that the OHL handed him, after a vicious stick-swinging incident. Here’s a video of what Blackwood was suspended for, courtesy of @HockeyWebCast:

Up until this point, Blackwood was having a sensational season for the Barrie Colts in the OHL. His record stands at 16-7-0, with a 2.36 goals-against-average and a league-leading .932 save percentage.

He was ranked as the top North American goaltender heading into the 2015 NHL entry draft, and was eventually taken 42nd overall by the New Jersey Devils.

Early projections had him as the starting goaltender for Team Canada, but McDonald, a Calgary Flames prospect, is almost guaranteed to start the first two games of the tournament now.

Blackwood is permitted to play in the pre-tournament warm up games despite the suspension.

Canada will be searching for their 17th World Junior Championship gold medal when the tournament officially begins on December 26th, 2015.

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer for InGoal Magazine, broadcaster for Sportsnet 650, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario with the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks on the radio and work with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade.