Darryl G. Smart
Things have really come full circle for Tyler Pelton.
As a kid, Pelton, now 44, had always wanted to play for his hometown junior hockey team, the Paris Mounties. When he was old enough, Pelton got that opportunity, and in the process, helped the Mounties win its only Schmalz Cup, emblematic of provincial junior C supremacy.
And now he is the head coach of a team that has meant so much to him.
Late last week, the Mounties shuffled the deck behind the bench. After Brad Jones stepped down to become the Provincial Junior Hockey League team’s director of player personnel, Pelton took over as the team’s head coach.
The Mounties have also added Paul Dalpe as an assistant coach, who will join Garrett Kirby.
Jones had been the Mounties head coach since the 2015-16 season, and had a 102-62-4-4 record, getting to the Doherty Division semifinal in every season but this one, and the final once.
Pelton joined the Mounties bench staff this past season as an assistant. Prior to that, he coached in the Paris Minor Hockey Association system for a number of years after a decorated local playing career.
After leading the Mounties as a player, Pelton played senior A hockey with the Simcoe Gunners, and then the Brantford Blast, where he became the team’s captain, and led that team to the 2008 Allan Cup. His No. 5 jersey hangs in the rafters of the Brantford civic centre after the Blast retired it.