Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Kaleb Dietsch took the next step in his hockey career this weekend when he made his regular-season debut with the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League.
The lanky, 6-foot-2 defenceman was called up from the roster of the Ottawa Junior Senators Jr. A squad to fill in on the blue line with the big club.
Dietsch suited up in his coveted #4 for Friday’s home game vs. the Peterborough Petes (a 4-1 loss) and then again on Sunday for a 4-1 home win over the Soo Greyhounds.
“It was a dream come true,” Dietsch told The Lake Report.
“To think that all my hard work has finally paid off and I can finally play a game at the next level is unbelievable.”
He said he plans to continue working hard to keep improving because playing regularly in the OHL is his next goal.
Prior to his 67’s debut, “the nerves building up to the game were just out of this world. The best feeling about it all was walking out at the start of the game, getting high-fives and fist bumps from the team and little kids.”
“It was like a scene out of a movie,” he said.
Parents Paul and Natasha Dietsch made the trip to Ottawa for the games, along with “his uncle Mike and aunt Maureen who were in Niagara visiting from Kenora,” Paul said.
“We’re all very happy for him. We all thought he did excellent.”
He noted the coaches told the young D-man that he “played great.”
Assistant coach Paul Stoykewych echoed that sentiment, telling The Lake Report, “Dietsch impressed. He was simple, confident, physically held his own and made some plays. He has made major strides in his development.”
The Dietsch family owns the popular Sandtrap Pub and Grill in NOTL and “uncle Matt broadcast the games at the Sandtrap” so patrons and friends could watch.
So far this season with the Junior Senators, in eight games, Dietsch has a goal and three assists along with 10 penalty minutes.
He netted his first goal in his debut game with the Junior Senators on Sept. 22, scoring the winner late in the third period in a 3-2 victory over the Hawkesbury Hawks.