Marek Pinc wins over Sheffield Steelers fans after victories at Belfast Giants

Marek Pinc and Mathieu Roy - in the thick of it. Picture by Dean Woolley
Marek Pinc and Mathieu Roy - in the thick of it. Picture by Dean Woolley
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Marek Pinc’s blistering performances between the pipes for Sheffield in Belfast have brought a new mood of confidence in him and his ability to back-stop Steelers to the title.

It is fair to say there have been question marks over the Czech national since he took over from the now-departed Tyler Plante in goal.

His statistics have been the worst in the League.

Yet he was a key performer at Belfast Giants last weekend and certainly justified the faith in him shown by coach Paul Thompson.

“In big games you see him step up to the plate” said the team boss.

“Pincy really showed his class at Belfast. He had two very strong games. It helps everybody’s confidence when you see your goalie - and his team defence - restrict an offensively-strong side like Belfast Giants to three goals in two games.

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“In our last five games we have been away four times and taken nine points.

“That is built on good goaltending and outstanding performances from all of our lines.”

Meanwhile, Thompson says that new signing Conny Stromberg, like all players coming from the continent, will take time to settle in to the EIHL pattern of play.

“Conny is used to a totally different style of play,” he said.

“It is bound to be a culture change coming here from Europe. Everyone finds it far more physical and in your face, but he will adapt.

“He is intelligent on the puck and the power play, he can slow things up or speed them up when it’s needed. He is a really good passer.”

The 40-year-old on a line with Jeff Legue and Mathieu Roy who had an outstanding two-game series in Belfast.

“Getting Roy back from injury was a massive bonus. He is our catalyst. When he is not around, we miss him,” said Thompson.

Tonight, Sheffield switch their attention to the Challenge Cup quarter-final first Leg at Fife Flyers. The Scots are in need of a morale-boosting win after losing on penalty shots at Nottingham Panthers on Sunday.

The second leg is on January 20.