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Pelkey enjoys a diverse summer in Sault Ste. Marie while focusing on dryland workouts

BJ Pelkey

Jan. 24, 2005

By Lindsey Mechalik, LSSU Sports Information student assistant

Every summer, the Laker hockey coaching staff gives its players a dryland workout. Last summer, junior forward BJ Pelkey and a few teammates decided to stay in Sault Ste. Marie in order to prepare for the season ahead. They also enjoyed a few diversions.

Mike Adamek, Bo Cheesman, Nathan Ward and Dominic Osman joined Pelkey in the Laker weightroom last summer.

"The whole reason for staying up here last summer was to try and stay focused in order to have a better season this year than we had in the past." Pelkey said. "It was really great to be able to workout together. We also had some of the other guys coming in during the summer to work out with us. Rainville and Rusty (Matt Restoule) came down a few times, and Barney (Barnabas Birkeland) came down once. Sometimes going home for the summer can be more of a distraction when you get to see all of your friends, and they all just want to do other things. When I do go home, a lot of times I will drive up to Ottawa and work out with Steve (McJannet) so that I have someone to workout with. It is about an hour drive."

Despite their rigorous workout schedule, the guys that stayed for the summer had a lot of fun during the off season.

"Cheesman, Ward and I played softball together all summer on a men's league team. That was a lot of fun," Pelkey said. "I was actually the strikeout king to begin with. I struck out the first couple of times I got up to bat because I hadn't played baseball since I was a kid. We all got to golf a lot last summer too."

Pelkey and his teammates really enjoy music and have had several jam sessions. At least seven Laker hockey players can play the guitar, and many more are trying to learn.

"Mike, Ward, Osman, and I played the guitar about every other day all summer. I took the guitar class here at school and then got a guitar for Christmas my freshman year.

Pelkey also took a few fun road trips with his teammates.

"Mike and I went down to Indiana to see Dave Mathews and O.A.R.," he said. "It was really good. Ward, Mike, and I went to Sudbury to see Rusty and went to a Tragically Hip concert. Rainville met us there.

"I went home a few times, and I went out to Edmonton and Jasper with Ward for about a month. It was my first time going out there. We did our workouts and hiked Whistlers Mountain. We drove up most of the way, and then there is a gondola that takes you from 7500 feet to 8500 feet. We hiked about a mile and a half up to the top, took a bunch of pictures, and then hiked back down. We also went on a couple of camping trips."

In addition to his workouts, another reason Pelkey stayed in Sault Ste. Marie for the summer was to work on his senior research project.

"This summer I did water sampling in Cedarville Bay," Pelkey said. "I checked for amounts of bacteria, ecoli, and chloraphorm. My senior project was funded by the Les Cheneaux region in Cedarville, which is like a community group. It looks out for the bay and its environment. It looks out for the people that live on the bay. I will be presenting my senior project in May. I decided to work on my senior project a year early since I was going to be up here anyway and was not planning on taking any classes. I have been working on my project all this year too."

Pelkey's senior project is long term; he is still working to complete it.

"I took all of the samples and then had to process them all in the lab," Pelkey said. "After they are processed, I have to record the data and create my hypothesis. I have a lot more lab work to do. Then in May, I have to present my findings and my data. Right now I have all of my chloraphorm samples frozen, and I still have my lab work to do on those."

Pelkey is majoring in environmental management. He has a direct career path in mind.

"Eventually I would like to own my own environmental consulting firm," Pelkey said. "But to start off with, I want to find a job doing something to do with air quality or water quality. An environmental consulting firm would do independent projects like testing land to make sure it is usable before housing developments can go in. They also look at spills, contamination or anything else to do with the environment including air, land, and water. My major is pretty much tailored for people to go work for the government. Eventually I would like to get a masters degree. I have a chemistry minor, so I can get a job anywhere as a lab tech."

Pelkey's major is pretty difficult, but will give him a well-rounded degree.

"The management part of my degree requires me to take accounting, business, economics, finance and management," Pelkey said. "I have to take a little of everything. It is a pretty rigorous degree. I have to take almost all of the chemistry classes, general biology, physics and all of the environmental classes. I had to also take calculus and a lot of psychology. My electives are all directed because there is not a lot of room. My major is pretty challenging."

Pelkey manages hockey and academics very well.

"I don't really find it a challenge to balance my hockey and school schedules," Pelkey said. "Everything pretty much has its own time. Everything is so scheduled that it just works out. I just have to get motivated to do my homework. I am pretty good with time management and just put everything on a priority basis."

Pelkey has a very interesting and somewhat hockey-oriented family.

"I have a younger brother who is 18 named Addison," Pelkey said. "He plays junior B hockey for the Char-Lan Rebels. He might go on and play more hockey, but he knows he wants to be a firefighter. He is going to go to school next year to become a firefighter in Ottawa. Right now he is working with my dad, Robert, who is a mechanic. He has his own business that is in the auto wrecking industry. He takes old cars and sells spare parts. Once a year he presses the cars and sells them for scrap metal. He also does mechanical and body work on cars, and has his own tow truck. We have been helping him with everything since we were kids. It was always our summer job."

Pelkey is not the first member of his family to play college hockey.

"My older sister Jen, 23, graduated from Bowdoin college in Maine," Pelkey said. "She played hockey there. She played four years of Division III hockey. They went to the national tournament three times. She is currently working on Parliament Hill for the Canadian government. My uncle, Guy Lauzon, is a member of parliament, which is like a senator for the United States. He got elected last summer. She was working on his campaign with him. She is now an administrative assistant on Parliament Hill. It makes her really happy because her major was government and French. My mom, Cheryl, is a social worker."

Before coming to Lake State and playing a year of junior hockey, Pelkey went to a private high school in the United States. So did his sister.

"My first year was as a junior there, and she was a senior," he said. "She played hockey there too. It was private school hockey. We won the NEPSAC (New England Preparatory School Athletic Council) championships. Going to a private school was an experience. It was like moving away to college. I was a dorm R.A. (resident assistant), member of student government and things like that. After I graduated from Tilton, I played a year for the Cornwall Colts."

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