Tom Montour was just hoping to get a chance to get into a game at the 2013 Mann Cup and show what he can still do. Game 4 was his chance and he made the most of it, helping the Six Nations Chiefs to push the ball up the floor and giving the offence more time to work with in an 8-3 win that evened the series at two wins each.
The veteran transition player had been out of action since late June, when he had a mishap while fooling around. He fell and drove his right arm through some glass. As he instinctively yanked it back out, the glass caught his wrist and sliced a tendon. It's been a long road back to being ready to play for the 31-year-old, but he was the most excited player to be on the floor in Game 4.
He had said earlier in the series that he felt like he was ready to play, but the training staff were concerned about whether his wrist was back to full strength and functionality. For his part, Montour said he just wanted to help out the team. “For sure I could help them out in the running game, I think,” Montour said. “It's the coach's decision and I'll agree with whatever they decide. I'll just bide my time again and hopefully I get back in there before this series is over and bring the cup back home.”
The “again” in that sentence was because he has not been on a roster in the National Lacrosse League the last couple of seasons, even though he feels like “I know I can still play, and play with the best of them. So I just want to go out there and give it my all and hope for the best.”
For a guy who's been playing since he was a few years old, not playing is a difficult situation. “It's hard because I love lacrosse. I grew up playing lacrosse since I was a paperweight so it was hard to swallow,” Montour said. “But I told everybody I'll be back and I haven't given up on it. I've worked as hard as I could to get back to this position. Hopefully it all works out.”
Montour was still part of the team while he was out with his injury. “I think I missed maybe four games—one home game and the rest road games, [during the regular season and playoffs],” Montour said. “Other than that I always wanted to be here and to help out any way I can with the team. We're a team, we're family, so if I've got to sit on the bench, ok, cause we've got so much depth on this team that anybody pretty much could sit out and we'd still have the same team. It's pretty nice.”
Chiefs' Head Coach Rich Kilgour was pleased to have Montour back in the lineup Tuesday night. ““Even if he didn't get a goal, he stretched their D, we got the ball up the floor a lot quicker,” Kilgour said. “The O was getting the ball with 22/23 [seconds left on the shot clock] instead of 17. Six seconds is a lot to work with at this level. It was good to have him back, too.”