Comets Corner with Pascal Pelletier
In his first year back playing pro hockey in the states, Utica Comets center Pascal Pelletier feels right at home in Utica, NY. The assistant captain quickly became a fan favorite, racking up point after point. Pelletier currently leads the team in points with 18 points (5-13-18) in 18 games played. "It's been really great so far playing in Utica," Pelletier said. "The team received a really warm welcome from the city of Utica. Our game has also improved a lot lately so it's easier to generate offense and score points."
Pascal Pelletier and Jason Spezza at the Spengler Cup
Pelletier, who is in his tenth year as a pro, returned to the states this season after spending three years playing in the Swiss A league for Langnau. "Switzerland has one of the best leagues in the world outside of the NHL," he explained. "It's a really fast, skilled league with some very talented players. My family and I loved it. It's a beautiful country, and I had the chance to travel across Europe." Pelletier also explained that all of the games were broadcast on TV, and that almost every night was a sellout, so playing there was a thrilling experience. Pelletier also had the opportunity to represent team Canada three times at the Spengler Cup, which is held annually in Davos, Switzerland. Last season, team Canada defeated the home team, HC Davos, in the finals to take home the gold medal.
As one of the older players on the Comets roster, Pelletier has inevitably become a role model for his teammates. When asked what the title of assistant captain means to him, Pelletier answered, "It definitely means a lot. Being an older guy, you just try to show the younger players the ropes of the game and how important it is to act like a professional on and off the ice. I try to lead by example on and off the ice, especially in terms of my work ethic."
Pelletier has also created chemistry on the ice with Comets captain Colin Stuart. On November 30, Pelletier scored the game winning goal in overtime against the Abbotsford Heat, helping the Comets finish out their western road trip with a record of 2-0 against one of the top teams in the league. "All the credit should go to Colin on that goal," he stated modestly. "He opened up the Heat defense with his speed and then gave me a pass right on the tape for the goal. It was great to finish off that weekend with two wins against such a solid hockey club."
With much of the season still ahead of him, Pelletier is only optimistic about what is to come. "I think the guys have gotten more comfortable with the system and the style of play that Coach Green implemented. Our defensive play has gotten better and all our guys have been playing some solid hockey - plain and simple." Heading into a stretch of seven straight home games, Pelletier and the Comets look to light up the lamp in front of the home crowd at the AUD.
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