Like every athlete, Mathieu Corbeil wants to win.
“Winning’s the best feeling when you come off the ice,” says the Halifax Mooseheads goalie. “If you worked hard and you win, you can’t have any better feeling than that.”
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But wins have eluded Corbeil in his young career. He lost 21 of 24 games two seasons ago in the Quebec midget ranks and 14 of 17 last season as a rookie with the Mooseheads.
He’s faced a whopping 37 shots per game along the way, and things might not get any easier this season on a rebuilding team loaded with young defencemen.
“It’s always hard losing,” says Corbeil, who has graduated to No. 1 status after a season as backup. “But I’ve just looked forward to getting better and evolving as a player.”
Corbeil was doing just that last season when he put together three outstanding starts on Dec. 30, Jan. 4 and Jan. 25. His reward was relegation to the bench for the final 19 games as veteran Mark Yetman led a last-ditch playoff push.
“You always want to play as much as you can,” Corbeil says. “When you can’t, for sure it’s frustrating. But Mark was No. 1. All I could do was work hard in practice and when I got my chance, I played really good those games.”
It’s Corbeil who’s No. 1 now, and although the 6-foot-6 Montreal native will have to fend off 17-year-old rookie Joel Grondin, he’s excited for the challenge. He admittedly had a tough opening weekend on the road, allowing 12 goals on 69 shots, but remains a big piece of the Mooseheads’ puzzle.
“I’m still evolving as a goalie and trying out new stuff,” Corbeil says. “That weekend is getting me started for the year, and as the year goes on, I’ll get better as a goalie.”