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Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight: Brett Pansier – De Pere hockey

Brett Pansier
Brett Pansier is a senior defenseman for the De Pere Voyageurs’ hockey team. Jenny Ellis Photo

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

DE PERE – De Pere High School senior Brett Pansier, who is a defenseman for the Voyageurs hockey team, said he’s had lots of embarrassing moments, but a few stick out.

“When I was younger, I used to trip and fall at the blue line,” said Pansier, who is the son of Scott and Kim Pansier. “I also had a hard time understanding the speed of the puck with my teammates and timing it so I wouldn’t go offside at the blue line.”

Pansier, who is nicknamed “Bretzky” after the great Wayne Gretzky, plans to attend St. Norbert College this fall to study accounting.

“I’ve played hockey since I was 3 years old,” he said. “I golfed my freshman year at De Pere, but now I golf with my dad in leagues and not on the high school team. Lacrosse would have been fun, too. I could still play my senior year, but I’d be too far behind.”

The Voyageurs are currently 11-5-0 on the season and led by head coach J.P. Coppo.

“It’s nice to have [Coppo] as my coach,” Pansier said, who describes himself as athletic, relaxed and humorous. “He creates a fun atmosphere and keeps it relaxed. His philosophy is, ‘Go with the flow.’”

Because Pansier plays defense, he doesn’t get the recognition like goal scorers do.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,” said the 5-foot-9, 150-pound Pansier, who as of Jan. 23 has nine points on the season. “My points don’t particularly matter to the team – it’s more about doing the little things right, which creates the opportunities for my teammates. I’m more of a defensive defenseman, but if the opportunity presents itself, I will jump into the offensive play.”

Speaking of his teammates, Pansier said David Vandenberg would be a good choice for a reality television show because he’s quick to come up with comments, is a jokester and makes people laugh.

Pansier’s most memorable hockey moment is defeating Marquette University High School in back-to-back seasons in his sophomore and junior year at De Pere’s holiday tournament.

He has an interesting choice of music to get him pumped up before a game.

“I listen to lots of country-rock,” Pansier said. “It might not be the typical music guys listen to before a game, but it works for me.”

Pansier said his worst hockey nightmare would be making it to the state championship game and losing by one goal when he or one his teammates scored the winning goal for the opposition.

His hobbies include running, lifting weights and hanging out with his friends.

“I like running, but I never joined the cross country team,” said Pansier. “I thought about joining last year but never did.”

When asked how he would like to be remembered at De Pere, he was quick to respond.

“I’d like to be remembered as a team player who was hard-working,” Pansier said.

Pansier’s older sister Mikayla is currently a student at NWTC studying nursing.

“My sister golfed in high school, and my parents are both from the area,” he said. “My dad also golfed, and my mom played softball.”

Pansier also likes macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, watching baseball, Charleston Chew, Milk Duds, cookie dough ice cream and cheetahs.

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