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Thorold teen drafted to Niagara Ice Dogs

15-year-old Reece Matier hopes to make his hometown proud; 'It's kind of the team I grew up on'

15-year-old Thorold teen Reece Matier has been drafted to the Niagara Ice Dogs.

“It's kind of the team I grew up on,” Matier says, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “I think it was the team that I watched the most.”

While he is only 15, Matier has more than proven himself on the ice.

“I've been playing AAA my whole life,” he says. “I started out in Southern Tier for five years, and then the last three have been with Niagara North Stars. My whole career and all of the work that I've put in has been for this moment.”

Matier is a left-wing forward. Now that he’s been drafted, he will partake in a rookie training camp with the other drafted players.

“I think some people will end up playing like for the Ice Dogs, and some people may not, but I think everybody's just going to be there training with each other as part of one system,” Matier says. 

Getting drafted to a top team doesn’t happen by accident. Matier keeps to a strict training regiment.

“I'm skating around three times a week right now and working out six,” says Matier. “I watch my food on a daily basis. I make sure to not take anything that's gonna be harmful for my body.”

Juggling his career on the ice with school has never been a problem for Matier.

“I've always been able to keep my grades up,” he says. “I’m an honour roll student, so school has never really been that much of a scheduling problem for me.”

For Matier, being on the ice is a way to relax.

“It just takes my mind off everything,” Matier says. “I focus in on the game and totally forget about school or any of that other stuff. You just want to cherish that moment with your team and just relax. It's what I live for and it's awesome.”

Matier hopes to make Thorold proud.

“It's probably a little bit of pressure that I'm a hometown kid, getting drafted by my hometown team, but I take it under my wing and just let it go,” he says. “I'm just gonna keep working out, keep getting stronger, and keep developing my game.”

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Bernard Lansbergen

About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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