Matteo Pietroniro was born in Boise, Idaho, but the game of hockey has kept him well travelled. As for his stint with the Newfoundland Growlers? “So far so good,” he said with a laugh. “You got to go to the hockey so you travel around everywhere but I love it here. I think it’s a very prideful town and when you come play for the Growlers, you’re proud to be a part of it and people are welcoming. The teammates were welcoming from the start, so it’s been an easy adjustment and I’ve enjoyed it a lot.”
How is it to play with people like (Zach) O’Brien and (James) Melindy and (Marcus) Power, we ask. “I think when you can have guys that are from St. John’s and they are leaders, you feed off their energy and how much pride they take to win games and the pride in the fans so you learn from them,” he said.
“The leadership. How they play the game … it’s been great for me as a overall learning experience and for making friendships as well.”
As COVID restrictions lifted, the game became more exciting too as the fans started to fill the stands. “Raising the capacity and seeing more fans come and seeing the fans have a good time has been great.”
For now, he’s focused on the playoffs.
“I would like to go all the way and win, and I might have to get on a plane pretty soon after that to get married. But winning? That’s the biggest thing on my to do list for sure.”
Has he and his fiance been enjoying their time here? “We are having a blast. We got a dog and are just enjoying life here. It’s definitely been a great experience so far.”