Pelech faces his brother

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

SARNIA -- Matt Pelech is Mr. April in the Sarnia Sting's 2005-06 official calendar but the big defenceman wants to be enjoying some playoff action with the London Knights when that month rolls around.

One day after ex-London blue-liners Steve Ferry and Matt McCready played their first games as visitors at the John Labatt Centre, the six-foot-four, 222-pound Pelech made his initial return to the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre since being dealt to the Knights the week before Christmas break.

It wasn't a happy homecoming. His old team beat his new team 5-2 to split the holiday home-and-home series.

"It's weird coming into this barn again but it helped having played against them (the Sting on Saturday) already," the 18-year-old former OHL scholastic player of the year said. "It's a different feeling."

Pelech will go through another strange situation this week when he faces off against younger brother Michael, a 16-year-old rookie and first-round pick with the Kitchener Rangers.

"I've never played against my brother before," the Toronto native said. "We play in Kitchener (tomorrow) but he's still out in Saskatchewan at the world under-17 tournament. I guess I'll see him on Sunday (when the Knights play the Rangers at the JLC)."

Pelech's parents would normally be following his progress in person but his mother is with Michael in Saskatchewan and his dad is with his 11-year-old brother Adam, who plays atom hockey and had a tournament this week.

Matt Pelech, a Calgary Flames' first-round pick last year, scored his first goal as a Knight in London's 3-1 win over Sarnia on Saturday and said he's feeling comfortable with his new team.

"It's been great so far. It's been a while since I was part of a winning organization," Pelech said. "(With 20-year-old Frank Rediker out) I know there's a lot of ice time and I'm going to be counted on here."

Though Pelech has added some size on the London back end, London GM Mark Hunter will still need to get another top-flight blue-liner before the trade deadline on Jan. 10.

Guelph acquired Kyle Wharton from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on the weekend but he didn't play because of a groin injury in yesterday's 7-3 Storm loss in Oshawa.


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