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Quirks and all, Stealth G Pelkey leading team to best-ever season

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It's not just his pregame ritual that makes Mitch Pelkey, the Proctor-Hermantown boys' lacrosse team's starting goaltender, a little weird. 

"I like to tap both of my pipes and shake the net a little bit," said Pelkey.  

"He's a weird kid," said Stealth head coach Michael Vuchetich. "I think all goalies are a little weird."

What makes Pelkey weird is the fact that he doesn't mind taking a beating.

As long as his team wins.
"He likes getting hit with the ball," said Vuchetich. "I mean, that hurts."

"They know I like to get hit now and then," said Pelkey. "But I can always get back up." 

Now in its second year in the Minnesota State High School League, the Stealth almost doubled its win total from last spring with a (9-5) overall record during the regular season. 

And Pelkey is a big reason why. 

"He owns that crease. He owns this half of the field," said Vuchetich. "Whatever half he's on, he owns it."

Sure, he's got the size and speed to hang with anyone as Pelkey next year plans to play Division II football for St. Cloud State University.

But his Stealth teammates point more to the netminder's lacrosse IQ as the reason for his success.

"He's got the smarts and he knows what he's doing in the cage," said Stealth senior attacker Noah Palusky. "And he can stop a lot of shots."

"He's always making adjustments," said Vuchetich. "Always talking to the defense. You'll see him fixing what went wrong so it doesn't happen again."

One of the biggest things that's gone wrong is a playoff loss last year to area rival Duluth.

So now, really, the only way to fix that is make a deeper playoff run this year.

"A lot deeper, I would say," said Pelkey. "After the loss last year, a lot of kids had their heads down, but we told them next year will be our year."

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