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Atlanta's Mike Pelech Sets ECHL Record By Playing In 860th Career Game

Atlanta's Mike Pelech Sets ECHL Record By Playing In 860th Career Game

Mike Pelech played in his 860th career ECHL game Tuesday night, becoming the league's all-time leader in games played

Feb 15, 2023 by Chris Peters
Atlanta's Mike Pelech Sets ECHL Record By Playing In 860th Career Game

History was made the second the puck dropped for Tuesday night's game between the Atlanta Gladiators and South Carolina Stingrays. Atlanta forward Mike Pelech was in the lineup for the game, marking his 860th career contest in the ECHL, making him the all-time games played leader in the league's history.

Pelech surpassed ECHL Hall of Famer Sam Ftorek, who skated in 859 games over a 10-year span from 1998-2008. 

“On behalf of the ECHL, I would like to congratulate Mike Pelech on breaking the ECHL record for career games played,” ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin said in a statement. “In our decorated 35-year history, this accomplishment speaks volumes to the hard work, dedication, professionalism and love of the game that Mike has portrayed for all of these years in our league.”

In addition to the Gladiators, the Toronto, Ontario native has suited up for the Ontario Reign, Toledo Walleye, Cincinnati Cyclones, Utah Grizzlies, Norfolk Admirals, Reading Royals, Greenville Swamp Rabbits, Wheeling Nailers and Indy Fuel over a career that has spanned 14 ECHL seasons.

Pelech entered Tuesday night's contest fourth in league history with 655 points, including 457 assists which is just three shy of second all-time in the ECHL.

The 33-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down as he is in the midst of one of the more productive campaigns in his ECHL career. He entered Tuesday's game with 44 points in 46 games for Atlanta. The 0.96 points per game he is averaging is the second highest scoring rate over 14 seasons.

In addition to his 860 ECHL contests, Pelech also suited up in 35 games in the American Hockey League, most recently in 2015-16, giving him a total of 895 games in professional hockey. A standout with the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors in the Ontario Hockey League, Pelech was a sixth-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2009.

Pelech comes from a strong hockey family in the Greater Toronto Area. His older brother Matt was as first-round draft pick of the Calgary Flames and also appeared in 15 ECHL games over his career. His younger brother, Adam, is currently a defenseman for the New York Islanders.

Mike Pelech's career is a story of perseverance and passion to have played both as long as he has and as successfully. He will undoubtedly one day find himself alongside Ftorek and many other luminaries of the league in the ECHL Hall of Fame soon after his career concludes.