Matt Marquardt’s time with the Moncton Wildcats will be forever etched in his memories.
“My experience with the Moncton Wildcats is one I will never forget,” said the North Bay, Ontario product.
Danny Flynn and Ted Nolan signed Marquardt as a free agent before the start of the 2005-06 season. Marquardt had put up fantastic numbers the previous year in Jr. A with the Brockville Braves of the Central Canada Hockey League.
The 6”2, 200 pounder quickly became a fan favourite in Moncton and possessed an impressive two-way game which fit Nolan and Flynn’s system perfectly.
Marquardt provided energy on a very skilled laden team in 2005-2006. Marquardt had the ability as a rookie to play up and down the line up in his first full season in the QMJHL.
In 68 regular season games he had 16 goals and 9 assists for 25 points and added 5 goals and 3 assists in 20 playoff games during the Wildcats memorable run to the President Cup Championship and Memorial Cup finals.
Marquardt fondly remembers his time in Moncton both on and off the ice. “Moncton is a beautiful city that always felt like home,” said Marquardt. “My billet family took me in and treated me like their own, I was not only thankful to be a part of the team but beyond proud to represent it,” explained Marquardt.
Marquardt fondly remembers the special bond that was formed with the 2006 President Cup Championship team. “I had the honour of playing, bonding and winning with the best teammates and friends a guy could ask for,” Marquardt said.
“I grew so much as a player, but most importantly as a person. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Mr. Irving and my Wildcat family,” explained Marquardt.
Marquardt’s skill set didn’t go unnoticed by NHL scouts during his first season in the QMJHL. The Columbus Blue Jackets selected him in the 7th round 194th overall in the 2006 Entry Draft.
The rangy left-winger would put up amazing numbers in his sophomore season with the Cats amassing 70 points in 67 games and eclipsing the 40-goal plateau to lead the team in scoring. Marquardt who is still playing professionally in the European Elite Hockey League credits his former junior coaches for his progression as a player on and off the ice during that time.
“I was very fortunate to have played for great coaches like Ted Nolan, Danny Flynn and John Torchetti who all taught us, how to play, look and be professional,” Marquardt said.
Marquardt would eventually be traded to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar at the mid point of 2007-2008 season after averaging close to a point a game for the Wildcats.
Marquardt ended his junior career putting up 69 points in 68 games that season. In total the free agent power forward from North Bay, Ontario amassed 176 points in 235 career QMJHL games.
Marquardt made his professional hockey debut in the American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins in 2008-09. Over the next eight seasons Marquardt split time between the East Coast Hockey League and the AHL.
Marquardt would claim an East Coast Hockey League Championship in 2011-2012 and raise the Kelly Cup while playing with the Florida Everblades.
For the past two seasons Marquardt has played for the Coventry Blaze and Sheffield Steelers of the British Elite Ice Hockey League.
Throughout his 11-year professional career Marquardt still considers the atmosphere of the Moncton Coliseum as one of kind.
“The Coliseum was absolutely electric ever game. I thrived on the roar of the Wildcats faithful,” Marquardt said. “I often stop and think about the moment we won the President Cup, it was pandemonium.”
“Just when I thought that building couldn’t get any better, we hosted the Memorial Cup. The energy in the Coliseum was incredible,” said Marquardt.
“There’s nothing like scoring a goal in the Moncton Coliseum.”
Marquardt scored 83 career goals for the Moncton Wildcats but none bigger than the game winner in the 2006 Memorial Cup Semi-Final.
“I have so many great memories in the Wildcat jersey including the first moment I ever put it on, winning the President Cup, but playing in the Memorial Cup and scoring the gamer winner that’s special,” said Marquardt.
In 48 games with the Dundee Stars this season, Marquardt had 20 goals, 24 assists before the season was cancelled due to the horrific COVID-19 pandemic.