Photo courtesy of Seattle Thunderbirds.

Kootenay Ice trade fifth-round pick to Seattle for goalie Matt Berlin

Team adds veteran netminder prior to trade deadline, spark further competition for the crease

With the WHL’s trade deadline approaching, the Kootenay Ice got in on the action on Monday with the acquisition of a veteran goalie.

Trading a fifth-round draft pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, the Ice added 1998-born goaltender Matt Berlin from the Seattle Thunderbirds.

A product of Edmonton, Alberta, Berlin has appeared in 24 games with the Thunderbirds this season. He has a goals against average of 3.40, a save percentage of .893, one shutout and a record of 12-7-2-1.

Berlin was also part of the Thunderbirds team that captured the Ed Chynoweth Cup in 2017, but did not appear in any playoff games.

“We look forward to Matt joining our group and providing a veteran presence at a key position,” said Ice president and general manager Matt Cockell in a team release.

Originally drafted by the Spokane Chiefs in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft (seventh round, 148th overall), Berlin has made a total of 48 appearances in the league. His last start for Seattle was on December 29 and he posted a 29 save regulation win.

In his only visit to Kootenay this year, he lost in a 4-2 game but was impressive with 27 saves on 30 shots.

Berlin will join the Ice’s current goaltending duo, Bailey Brkin and Duncan McGovern, who have shared the workload in-between the pipes since early November.

Both Brkin and McGovern were pulled in their most recent starts over the weekend, in a pair of losses that capped off the team’s winless Saskatchewan road trip.

Overall, Brkin has a record of 7-12-2-0 and a 4.51 goals against average and a 0.874 save percentage. McGovern, meanwhile, is 7-4-1-0 with a 3.03 goals against average, a 0.891 save percentage and has a shutout.

The move was Matt Cockell’s 17th trade since taking over the team’s front office in May, and the fifth involving the acquisition of a goaltender.

All trades for the 201-18 season must be completed by 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

The following are the players currently on the Ice roster:

GOALIES: (3)

Duncan McGovern, Bailey Brkin, Matt Berlin

DEFENCEMEN: (8)

Martin Bodak, Jonathan Smart, Dallas Hines, Sam Huston, Zachary Patrick, Ryan Pouliot, Bobby Russell, Loeden Schaufler

FORWARDS: (13)

Brett Davis, Cameron Hausinger, Michael King, Gilian Kohler, Peyton Krebs, Colton Kroeker, Sebastian Streu, Kaeden Taphorn, Keenan Taphorn, Colton Veloso, Alec Baer, Cole Muir, Bradley Ginnell

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