Jakob Pelletier would not be denied in Game 1 against the Abbotsford Canucks.
After taking an uncalled high stick to the chops (which required stitches), he fired multiple shot attempts in overtime and finally found the back of the net, notching the OT winner to seal it for the Wranglers in a 3-2 victory Wednesday night.
“It’s great. The fans were unbelievable last night so to win the game for them was good,” said Pelletier after practice on Thursday.
CALGARY, AB – APRIL 26, 2023: The Calgary Wranglers against the Abbotsford Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday. (Photo by Jenn Pierce/Calgary Wranglers)
Fueled by the Wranglers’ faithful at the Scotiabank Saddledome, Pelletier exploded for a memorable celebration following the goal, before being swarmed by his teammates.
“I’m an emotional guy, so when I scored, I was kind of like ‘adda boy Pelts’ and the fans were cheering and were loud, so it was great,” he said.
Playing with emotion is a key part of Pelletier’s game and there’s no doubt he brings tons of energy and enthusiasm to the group. According to Pelletier, in the playoffs it’s about managing emotions, riding out the ups and downs, and staying positive throughout.
“In playoffs you just gotta relax, right?” he said. “It might be at the end of the game or in overtime, but it’s not going to be every game that you score. Me and the boys just need to stay even-keeled and if we do the simple things, I think great things will happen.”
Pelletier split this season between the Wranglers and the Flames, and he hopes to use what he learned in the NHL and apply it to his game during the Wranglers’ postseason.
“The pace, learning how to be a pro and how to play in the NHL every day,” explained Pelletier, when asked about what lessons he learned with the big club this season. “Just trying to bring that experience here into the playoffs, and just keep the pace and play fast.”
After a lengthy break following a first-round bye, the Wranglers got off to an admitted slow start Wednesday in Game 1 before settling into things. Pelletier feels there is still plenty of room for improvement as the Wranglers look to take a 2-0 series lead in Game 2 on Friday (CLICK FOR TICKETS).
“The big thing was our execution,” he said. “We didn’t play in 10 days, so the execution wasn’t there, and I think we can step it up and work harder.”