Spencer Martin is the starting goalie for the Mississauga Steelheads and was a third round pick (63rd overall) for the Colorado Avalanche in the 2013 NHL Entry-Draft. He’s undoubtedly been the Steelheads MVP this season as the strong goaltending he provides, night in and night out has kept Mississauga in the thick of the OHL playoff race. It certainly hasn’t been easy for Martin, as he plays behind a young, rebuilding squad with the Steelheads.
In fact the top four defenceman on the team include three 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old, extremely young and inexperienced by junior hockey standards. That said, this young group is extremely talented, and the Steelheads are a team to watch for 2014-15 and 2015-16 as they should grow into a strong group.
I had the chance to catch up with Martin after the Steelheads 4-0 loss on Friday night to the North Bay Battalion, and ask him about how the game went, the OHL playoff chase, and being drafted by the Avalanche, and what it means to work with Patrick Roy and Francois Allaire. Here is that interview.
LWOS: Thanks a lot Spencer for talking to us after a tough loss.
Spencer Martin: No problem, thanks for having me.
LWOS: You faced 41 shots tonight Spencer, how do you deal with a game like tonight where the pressure seemed to always be in the Mississauga zone, and you had a heavy workload?
SM: I certainly like to get a lot of action, but a lots of saves doesn’t mean an awful lot when you lose this time of year. I do like to get a lot of action, but I’d like to get a win a lot more.
LWOS: How do you and the team bounce back from tonight. You have four big games left with three teams in a neck-and-neck race for the last two playoff spots. What do you do to get ready for Kingston on Sunday?
SM: We have to get to practice tomorrow and be ready to work hard. Its a brand new day and we have to be prepared to look for one or better yet two points every night at this time of year.
LWOS: To change gears for a moment, last year you were drafted by the Colorado Avalanche. It was the first draft for their new management led by Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy. As a goaltender, tell me a little about what went through your mind knowing that Roy had a hand in your selection?
SM: It was very special, obviously. Roy is a legend, and one of the best ever, if not the very best ever. It was an honour to be picked by any NHL team, but to be picked by him was extra special.
LWOS: Have you had a chance to work with him much over the past year, and to get some tips from Roy?
SM: At training camp, I got to know him and the rest of the staff. Its been great as the staff have been communicating with me throughout the season.
LWOS: Another big name in the goaltending community is Francois Allaire, who is the goaltending coach for the Avalanche. Has he been working with you, and are there any specific aspects of your game he’s helping you with?
SM: I have gotten the opportunity to work with him a bit and that is pretty special for any goalie. He’s known as the goalie guru and you have to listen when he speaks. There is no one specific thing we’ve worked on, he’s the type of coach who is helping me in all aspects of my game and technique. The biggest thing is knowing that he is working his goalies hard, and if I follow his advice and put in the work, I can get to the next level in my game.
LWOS: Thanks a lot Spencer, and good luck with your next few games and qualifying for the Playoffs.
SM: Thanks again.
You can follow Spencer Martin on twitter (@S_Marty95) and the Steelheads twitter (@OHLSteelheads) and their website mississaugasteelheads.com as they make their final playoff push. They are on the road against Kingston on Sunday, and then at Niagara on Thursday March 13th. They finish the season at home to Niagara on March 14th and home to Kingston on March 16th. With things being so tight between Mississauga, Niagara, and Ottawa, these games will have a playoff type of feel and intensity.
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