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Victor Mete (middle) is swarmed by teammates Shea Weber (left) and Joel Armia after his first career NHL goal on Thursday against the Minnesota Wild.
By Jake Courtepatte
It was a record he never wanted to own.
King City product Victor Mete, in his 126th game as a member of the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL, finally found the back of the net for the first time last Thursday.
Montreal forward Nick Cousins scooped up a loose puck behind the Minnesota net, sending a blind backhand pass out front to a streaking Mete, who sent a one-timer over the shoulder of goaltender Alex Stalock to send the Habs faithful into a frenzy.
It was the NHL's longest standing goal drought.
“It was definitely special,” said Mete at the post-game press conference. “I was able to kind of jump in, and scored. It feels good.”
Only adding to the already electric moment was the Bell Centre crowd, with Mete able to finally break the spell, one that was well known to Canadiens fans.
“It was pretty nuts. It was kind of ear-piercing.”
The defenceman, who spent two seasons with the OHL's London Knights, played for King City's Country Day School Cyclones from Grade 5 right until 2013, when his outside commitments as one of the game's elite players became too demanding.
A student of the King City independent school since Grade 2, Mete is an offensive-minded defenceman and a product of both the York Region and Toronto Jr. Canadiens AAA programs.
He was taken in the first round of the 2014 OHL Draft by the Owen Sound Attack after posting almost a point-per- game pace, and was sent to the Knights before playing a game.
Winning the Memorial Cup with the Knights in his first season, he racked up 105 points in 179 OHL games.
His point production is only half the story, as his defensive game has significantly improved since reaching the OHL level.
Though standing at just 5'10”, 181 pounds, Mete is often matched up against elite level forwards of a much larger size.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Canadiens, as the 100th overall pick, Mete surprised and impressed enough in camp to make the opening night roster. Since then, he has often been paired on the blue line with all-star veteran Shea Weber, who was the first to reach Mete on the ice for the celebratory first-goal hug.
Mete admitted Weber, who along with the rest of his Montreal teammates call him ‘Meat' in a play on his last name, has sent some ribbing his way through his historic drought to start his professional career. Yet, he was able to keep it to the back of his mind.
“It was coming. You knew it was coming,” said Canadiens assistant captain Brendan Gallagher. “He had too many chances to not (score). I couldn't be happier for the kid. He's handled this very well, this whole thing, and now that he's seen one go in the net, I wouldn't be surprised if you see a couple more follow.”
Mete has also added one assist in nine games so far this season, helping the Canadiens to a 4-3-2 start.
Excerpt: It was a record he never wanted to own. King City product Victor Mete, in his 126th game as a member of the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL, finally found the back of the net for the first time last Thursday.
Post date: 2019-10-23 10:05:37
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