Pensacola, Fla. (Sept. 23, 2021) – The Pensacola Ice Flyers have signed forwards Jan Salák and Petr Panecek to the 2021-22 season roster. Both players are native of the Czech Republic coming from the FPHL Carolina Thunderbirds, who won their league’s championship in 2019-20 with them playing vital roles.
“Yan is a big guy who scores and has a good skill level, and Petr is more of a playmaker,” stated Head Coach Rod Aldoff. “Both have had great success in Carolina with the Thunderbirds and have been the mainstay for their team there.”
“I’m looking forward to giving them an opportunity in our league. It will be a step up for them, but they are good people and they are excited and ready to take that challenge on. They’ve played a lot of good hockey in their day and I’m looking forward to seeing their growth in our league.”
The 6-foot 5-inch, 229-pound forward, Salák, has spent the last three seasons with the Thunderbirds. During that time, he played 121 games tallying 160 points with 62 goals and 98 assists.
“I like to use my size, reach and strength in all sections of the ice to my advantage and to help generate offense for the team,” said Salák. “I am willing to bring whatever aspect coach will be expecting from me to help us succeed.”
“I am looking forward to the new experience. I have heard nothing but good things about the Ice Flyers and this league,” explained Salák. “I am expecting players to be quicker, stronger and faster.”
“The following season after winning a championship is always mentally hard. Staying on the right track and working hard are a must. I believe if the team works as one, success will come as long as we stay humble as a group.”
Panacek is a 6-foot 168-pound forward who has also spent the last three seasons with the Carolina. In that timespan, he played 124 games producing 148 points with 48 goals and 100 assists.
“When coach Rod called me and showed interest in me, I was very excited,” explained Panecek. “Pensacola is just a dream place to play. Championship team, great organization, great place and great fans. I feel like it cannot get better than this. It was easy decision.”
“I’m not a big guy so my game is all about being a good skater and always being a step ahead of the other team. I’m a team player, so I’m ready to bring my best to the table and help the team win.”
“I’m definitely looking forward to new challenges, playing in a new league and in a new place. I’m really excited to get to Pensacola and begin working towards another championship.”
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