A 36-year-old former Czech international goaltender will stand between the Sheffield Steelers pipes this weekend after an emergency deal was struck by coach Paul Thompson.
Marek Pinc should arrive in South Yorkshire today and have a couple of practices ahead of Saturday’s iceSheffield fixture against Dundee Stars.
While stand-in goalie Brad Day put in a good display on Sunday it is clear Thompson wanted experience in his net, while Tyler Plante is out.
“Tyler is injured and we need another number one goalie. It’s as simple as that,” said Thompson. “Brad has done a terrific job but I think everyone agrees that finding another starting goalie whilst Tyler is out was a priority.
“We made various enquiries after Sunday’s game once we knew the extent of Tyler’s injury and we’re delighted that a goalie with Marek’s experience and ability was available. He has played at the National Team level and in some of the best leagues in the world. He is a winner as proven recently in Kazakhstan where he was a premium goalie.
“Ben O’Connor played against Marek in Kazakhstan and liked him a lot. Darrell Hay also played with him at Bili Tygri Liberec in the Czech league during 2011/12.
“Being a European meant that he could fly in immediately and we could bypass the visa delays.
“Marek was keen to join us straight away so we will see him in time for a couple of training sessions before Saturday’s game against Dundee.”
Pinc started off this season with Beibarys Atyrau in Kazakhstan, but he only played three times.
His entire career has been in Kazakhstan or the Czech Republic so this opportunity is clearly a novel one for him.
If he turns out to be an outstanding success it will turn the heat up on Plante.
Meanwhile the club has denied claims on twitter that they “broke” Plante by knowingly playing him while injured.
Spokesman Dave Simms said: “I talk to the doctor and the physio and the allegations on social media are “utter tosh.”