Cech shines in Phoenix debut

(PHOTO: PA)

Petr Cech was the hero in his first ever game as an ice hockey player as Guildford Phoenix secured victory over Swindon Wildcats 2 in their NIHL 2 South West game.

The high profile former footballer, with a glittering career at Arsenal and Chelsea behind him, made the switch to Phoenix earlier this week.

And his highly anticipated debut paid off as Cech saved the crucial penalty shot to keep their 100% record going in the early part of the season.

Cech wore the #39 jersey, in homage to fellow countryman, Dominik Hasek, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with Detroit Red Wings while his helmet bore the logos of his two former teams in the English Premier League.

And he’s finally delighted to achieve something he’s held a desire to do of playing a game of ice hockey at a competitive level.

He told The Guardian: “It was a childhood dream for me to play even one game of ice hockey. I’ve done that now and nobody can take that from me.

“I wanted to win, that was the main thing, and I’m glad we did, but I was surprised that I wasn’t more nervous. 

I didn’t know what to expect so it was nice how quickly my body switched into matchday mode.”

The Guildford Spectrum accommodated just over 900 people to witness Cech’s first foray into ice hockey, a mixture of Phoenix fans and interested spectators.

Phoenix opened the scoring through Jacob Rondeau-Smith, but saw his effort cancelled out by Mason Lipsey, who struck for the Wildcats.

Jack Goodchild put Swindon ahead before the second break, but the home side levelled as Taylor Wootton found the net and the game was tied by the end of regulation time.

It went all the way to penalty shots and having already saved from Harry Llewellyn, Cech was on top to deny Lipsey to secure Phoenix’s win.

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