Drake Pilon: chirping, checking and lighting up the rink with Fife Flyers

Fife Flyers’ fans have been waiting for a player like Drake Pilon for several seasons - someone to light up games, and the rink.
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The former Kalamazoo Wings forward added what coach Tom Coolen called sandpaper and grit to the roster on his arrival at the start of the year, and that was more than evident in Saturday’s game against Cardiff Devils.

It was a night when players across the ice pad wound each other up - the chirping continued right to the buzzer with one Devils’ player still firing back as the team headed down the tunnel. Pilon chirped, checked and chased Devils’ players across the ice pad, making his presence felt in short, sharp shifts and then hitting the net with a huge goal in the third period - one he celebrated by waving to the Devils’ fans packed into the seats in the corner of the net. It was also said he skated past Devils’ bench saying”how was that boys?”

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Pilon took two minor penalties during the night, the first a slightly clumsy cross check on 15:20 clumsy cross check on Cody Donaghey. He hopped over the boards with a few words to his opponent, and had the last laugh a few minutes later with a dig at a face-off leading to a cross-check and a powerplay for Fife. By the time Donaghey found his seat in the bin, Pilon was back on the bench with a smile on his face.

Drake Pilon in action against Cardiff Devils' Josh Batch (Pic: Derek Young)Drake Pilon in action against Cardiff Devils' Josh Batch (Pic: Derek Young)
Drake Pilon in action against Cardiff Devils' Josh Batch (Pic: Derek Young)

Pilon’s crucial goal after 50 minutes gave Flyers the lead for the second time in the game - a wicked bounce off the back boards opening up Devils’ zone for the forward to shoot home from the right.

Pilon’s willingness to get into the heart of the action will be one of the keys to Fife’s bid to make the play-offs - he is a big player on and off the ice.

His Sudbury Wolves’ coach Dave Matzos, worked with Pilon and his twin, Darian, and they are both cut from the same cloth.

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In one interview he said: “Every team that's on a mission to win needs character like this. Their energy, their character, their grit, their skill - they kind of touch all the bags. We knew they were going to be consistent, we knew they were going to be passionate kids. I'd like to see the minor penalties cut back, but that's the way they play, right?"

Mark Seidel, a longtime scout knows them well too and tracked their progress into the OHL: "They're impactful most nights. They're not the biggest kids in the world - certainly, they play like they're seven feet tall.”

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