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Piette on Victor Mete: 'I look up to him'

Montreal Impact midfielder Samuel Piette has a great deal of admiration for the young Canadiens defenseman

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - What do Montreal Impact midfielder Samuel Piette and defenseman Victor Mete have in common? 

"We're in the same situation. He hasn't scored a goal for a long time and neither have I," said the three-year MLS veteran with a laugh. "That's a funny situation."

Both Piette, 24, and Mete, 20, are still seeking their first career goals in their respective leagues. While Piette has been held scoreless through 54 games in the MLS ranks, Mete has gone 120 outings without lighting the lamp.

All kidding aside, though, Piette is a big Mete fan and he pays extra close attention to the way the young blueliner goes about his business night after night.

"I look up to him because he got drafted pretty late. I think a lot of people in his past maybe didn't believe in him. He's smaller like me. This year, he went back to the Rocket and then came back to the Canadiens and did really well. I look up to him because he's very agile and I like how he handles the puck. He's not afraid to go forward and he likes to support the rush," explained Piette, regarding the Canadiens' fourth-round pick - 100th overall - in the 2016 NHL Draft. "I really like how he plays. He's very fast on his skates. I'm pretty agile on my feet, too, so that's why I like him."

The Repentigny, QC native believes he has a bit of forward Brendan Gallagher's tenacity and persistence in his game as well.

"My style of play looks a lot like his, really hard-working and giving it all every game. He's a good leader. He's an important member of the team, and so am I with the Impact," mentioned Piette, who set a club record earlier in the week by playing his 46th straight game and is a key member of the Impact's leadership group. "Every time he gets on the ice, you could see he's happy to be there and he doesn't take anything for granted pretty much like I do. I think we're pretty similar like that. And people respect him in the locker room."

Piette also has a soft spot for goaltenders, in general, including Carey Price.

"Growing up, I actually played cosom hockey at the gym at Collège Ahuntsic. That was a long time ago. I was a goaltender. My dad was playing and I went to see him play every Sunday," recalled Piette. "When I got older, my dad was in goal on one side and I was the other one. That's the position I like to play when I play in the street with my friends during the offseason. It's my favorite position."

Tweet from @samuelpiette: Le but d���hockey derri��re, les grosses pads de gardien sur les tibias... @CanadiensMTL, si jamais Carey Price ne fais pas la job, n���h��sitez pas �� m���appeller 📞, j���ai ��a dans le sang! 💉🏒 https://t.co/qhB7qyA01L

Interestingly enough, the Canadian international is a bit of rink rat once the soccer campaign comes to a close, too.

"I go pretty much once every two days with my friends, so we actually play a lot. I like to play defense on the ice. It's like my style on the pitch," revealed Piette. "The primary thing is just to go out there and have fun, but obviously fitness-wise it helps. It's very different in terms of what we use in terms of physical attributes in soccer, but I use it to prepare for the season."

There's no denying Piette's passion for his country's national winter sport and his beloved Habs. In addition to "watching pretty much every game," he does his very best to hit up the Bell Centre at least a couple of times every year.

Admittedly, the building will always hold a special place in his heart.

"I remember one of the first games I went to was with my dad. It was a really long time ago. We were pretty high up, close to the ceiling. I think it was against Ottawa. We took the metro, parked at Honoré-Beaugrand and took it all the way to Lucien-L'Allier," remembered Piette. "That's our routine every time we go to a game. We do this."

Quick hits

Which Habs player would Piette like to see ring the famous North Star bell at some point down the road?

"I would like to see Shea Weber. He's the captain. He's the big guy on the team. I think Shea Weber is there to balance everything on the ice. Everyone has massive respect for him," said Piette. "I would love to see a big guy like that ring the bell and see how long he can ring it."

Video: Andrew Shaw rings the Saputo Stadium bell‬

Which Habs player would Piette like to hit the pitch with sometime?

"I'm pretty sure that Kotkaniemi and Lehkonen are pretty big on soccer, especially because we have another Finnish guy on the roster in Jukka Raitala, but I would love to take someone out that maybe isn't a soccer fan," answered Piette. "I'd try to show him what the sport's about and what's required. I would like to do the same thing in hockey, meet a player and talk about it, and be on the ice to have him show me some tricks."

Looking ahead to a big matchup

After posting a 3-0 win over the New England Revolution on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, head coach Rémi Garde's squad is hoping to deliver the goods against the Chicago Fire on Sunday afternoon at Stade Saputo.

"It's a very important game. Coming off a win on the road, you always want to confirm your performance and the result the next game. Especially at home, we've just played one game and we won it, so we want to make it two now," affirmed Piette. "Chicago is coming off a tough loss in New York, so they're going to come out really strong. It's always fun and more comfortable to play a game in Montreal with the support, the fans and being home. But, we have to make sure that we do what we have to do to get the three points, because I think less than that would be a disappointment."

To purchase tickets to Sunday's contest, click here. Kick off is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

Tweet from @impactmontreal: On remet ��a demain? Vos joueurs arrivent �� 11h pile, soyez-y!Let's do it again tomorrow! Greet your players at 11am sharp, be there!🎟��� >> https://t.co/hXN0GqjfXB#IMFC #AllezMTL pic.twitter.com/MZ9ZbbAZh4

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