Date of Birth: 
Place of Birth: Levack, Ontario
Inducted: 2021 (Player Category)

Dave Matte was, arguably, one of the most popular hockey players to ever suit up for the Corner Brook Royals in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League.

Matte — more commonly known in provincial hockey circles as ‘Okie’ — arrived in Corner Brook in the fall of 1985; just months after the Royals lost to the Thunder Bay Twins in Game 7 of the Allan Cup Canadian senior hockey championship.

Eager to get the job done the following season, Royals’ general manager Cliff Gorman brought in a slew of import players to bolster the roster for another Allan Cup run.

Matte, from Levack, Ontario, got the call to stand guard between the pipes for Corner Brook; a call that resulted in him finishing the 1985-86 season as the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League’s top goaltender, and league regular-season Most Valuable Player.

But the trophies didn’t stop there.

With Matte between the pipes, the Royals went on to capture the Herder Memorial Trophy as Newfoundland and Labrador champions; starting a march towards a Canadian senior hockey run that saw the squad capture the Bolton Cup as Eastern Canadian champs. That series win qualified the Royals to face off against the Nelson Maple Leafs in British Columbia, with the Royals sweeping the Canadian final in four games to secure Newfoundland and Labrador’s first Allan Cup championship.

To cap the series, Matte posted a 7-0 shutout victory; earning him the playoff Most Valuable Player award.

‘Okie’ remained in Corner Brook for the next three seasons; leading the Royals to another Herder title in 1988; dominating between the pipes as Corner Brook topped the St. John’s Capitals with an overtime win in Game 7 of the provincial final.

After leaving Corner Brook, Matte went on to capture two more Allan Cup titles; with the Charlottetown Islanders in 1991, and the Saint John Vitos in 1992 — a team that also included former Royals Allan Cup teammate and Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Famer Todd Stark.

Throughout his playing career in Newfoundland and Labrador, Matte was widely regarded as the best goaltender in the province. Royals’ teammate Robbie Forbes — the uncle of Pittsburgh Penguins’ superstar Sidney Crosby — described ‘Okie’ as “the best player at any position that I ever played with who didn’t play in the American Hockey League.”

Matte was honoured by the Royals in 2011 when the team officially retired his No. 30 jersey.

His induction into the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame this year makes him the 14th member of the ’85-86 Corner Brook Royals Allan Cup squad to be enshrined in the provincial Hall.