“The trip to Stamford is about as good a gift as you can get, so I’m extremely excited,” Altmeyer said. “I’m just going into Stamford feeling positive and I’m just going to have fun. I play my best when I’m having fun.”
The regional champion will win $5,000, and the winner and runner-up will receive the final two spots in the NHL GWC World Finals, which will take place in Las Vegas at the NHL Awards on June 19-20. Nicola Bruna and Matthew Grenier will represent Canada, and Erik Tammenpaa and Arttu Mustila will compete from the Europe region.
Altmeyer is from Pittsburgh; he’s one of three regional finalists from Western Pennsylvania, along with Richard Sherman and David Roebuck. Though they’ve never met in person, Altmeyer and Sherman will be traveling together to Stamford.
“It will be nice not being alone,” Altmeyer said. “It’s cool seeing so many people from Pittsburgh going to Stamford. It really shows how much hockey has grown in the city, and the Penguins are to thank for that.”
Altmeyer especially is looking forward to his first EA SPORTS NHL 18 game of the tournament. He will play against Michael Nugent of Framingham, Massachusetts, a good friend from the gaming community with whom he’s attended other gaming tournaments.
“It’s all the community is talking about,” Altmeyer said of his matchup. “Even though our game is in Round 1, it’s the most anticipated game of the tournament.”
Altmeyer dreamed of reaching the NHL and played goalie at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minnesota, a boarding school which has produced several NHL players, including Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. Although his competitive on-ice career is over, Altmeyer still is getting the chance to live out a dream in the GWC.
“The fact that there is a tournament hosted by the NHL is incredible,” he said. “I don’t know if [the NHL] realizes how much it truly means to the guys who have dedicated a large portion of their lives to this community.”