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Being Involved Has Always Been Important to DeFazio

Rescue Mission WP

Any Comets fan that attended the St. Patrick’s Day game on March 7th experienced a whirlwind of emotions, as Brandon DeFazio tied the game with less than eight seconds remaining. DeFazio did it again this past Sunday, as he scored the game-winning goal at the start of the third period.

DeFazio has always been a standout on the Utica Comets, but recently, he has stepped up his play and become a clutch goal scorer. When asked what has spurred his recent surge in points, Brandon explained, “I don’t know if I’ve necessarily changed anything, but I definitely feel more confident. I think your play mimics how the whole team’s doing, and we’ve found our groove and have experienced a lot of recent success.”

In his third year playing professional hockey, DeFazio ranks fifth on the Comets in points scored, with 15 goals and 14 assists over 67 games hospital visitplayed. He is also the only Comet to appear in all games during the inaugural season so far, with only nine games remaining.

Perhaps Defazio’s biggest impact since arriving in Utica in October has been with the community. Last season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, DeFazio was named the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the community. He also won the same award during the 2011-12 season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

“For me, there’s no reason not to be involved,” he said. “We’re fortunate enough to be able to do what we love for a living, and any time you can help someone, whether it’s putting a smile on a kid’s face or cleaning up the city, those things go a long way.”

This past Sunday was especially special for DeFazio, who helped put together an Alzheimer’s Awareness night. It just so happened that he scored the game winning goal and was able to celebrate with members of the Alzheimer’s Association of Central New York who attended the game.

“[Alzheimer’s] is something that’s close to my heart,” he explained. “My nana went through the disease, and my mom and aunt went through it with her. It’s very important to me, and it was the perfect night to get the game winner. It added to the whole feel of the game, and was definitely meant to be.”

As such a selfless and generous player, it is without a doubt that DeFazio’s impact has and will continue to be felt throughout Utica. When asked what the most rewarding part of working so closely with charities is, DeFazio didn’t hesitate, responding, “You look at what we give them, but we often forget how much they give back to us.”