Montour celebrates first NHL goal

NHL – Any new NHL prospect wants to make the best impression when they are called up to the NHL, even if it’s a temporary stay. Six Nations Brandon Montour is no different and he made the best of the opportunity to impress.

In his sixth game with the Ducks this year, the rushing defenseman scored the first goal of the game and his first NHL goal in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 3-2 shootout win over the Ducks.

But the pleasure was almost stolen from him when the Bolts called for a replay insisting the play was offside. After video review, the on-ice official’s call stood and Montour could now be properly celebrated.

Although Montour is known as an offensive/defenseman because of his speed and his blistering shot, it’s an evaluation he is not entirely comfortable with.

Although he does have the shot, speed and the puck-savvy to lead a rush and still get back to look after his defensive chores, it’s the defensive part of the game he has been working very hard on, and with visible results, since going to the AHL San Diego Gulls, two seasons ago.

Montour spent three years in the Greater Ontario Junior B Hockey League, with the Six Nations owned Brantford Golden Eagles, which allowed his parents and grandparents to watch his games. He learned and developed. “It was a good stepping stone,” says Montour.

“Monty” as he is known by his teammates, stepped in from his point position a wired a one-timer past Ben Bishop from atop the faceoff circle for a 1-0 Anaheim lead.

The video of his first goal is up on YouTube to see, but it’s that big smile that outshone the goal itself.

“You can tell he has a lot of skill,” Ducks goalie Jonathan Bernier said to “He’s a great skater and he’s patient with the puck. He’s got a great shot.”

“It was a whirlwind,” Montour said in a LA Times phone interview from Tampa. “I’m just grateful I can play with those guys. They teach me a lot out there and I learn as much as I can. I’m new out there.”

Montour go this second tour of duty with the Ducks Wednesday after regular defender Sami Vatanen went down with the flue. Montour will stay with the Ducks until Vatanen is healthy again, but stocks in Montour went through the roof after his first goal, proving he belongs in the NHL.

The Ducks seem to have a glut of fine defensemen and his is a name that is being heard often as trade deadline looms.

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