What Sheffield Steelers' Pavel Kantor is learning from Tomas Duba
Sheffield Steelers' goaltender Pavel Kantor is hoping to be a fast learner during his debut campaign in British ice hockey.
The 28-year-old from the Czech Republic is acquiring knowledge and skills as he has watched the more experienced team-mate and countryman Tomas Duba in practices and the past three pre-season games.
And the 6ft 2ins netminder is also learning to form a healthy disdain for Nottingham Panthers ahead of the Sheffield Arena Challenge Cup curtain-raiser against them on Saturday!
Kantor and Duba will share backstopping responsibilities in the home and away series this weekend.
And the younger man will feed off the veteran skills of the 38-year-old.
Kantor said he hadn't known Duba from earlier years on the hockey circuit.
"He has got the experience and I can learn something from him" said Kantor, who only played 25 games in his home country last season.
"I look forward to play with him."
As for who will play the most for Steelers, he replied: "I don't know, we will see!"
Sheffield beat HK Poprad, of Slovakia 7-4 and 5-2 and then recorded a 5-4 win over Budapest in the friendly series, ending last Saturday.
Kantor noted that in the last three games they had scored 17 goals, which was "very good.
"We played pretty well in power play; it was good preparation for the season."
The goalie, new to the EIHL, said he didn't know much about any of the opposition teams, including Panthers, who will bring ex Steelers goalie Jackson Whistle and defenceman Mark Matheson back to South Yorkshire.
"I talked to some people here and they told me nobody likes Nottingham here...I will do it!"
Kantor added that he was happy and surprised with the quality of Steelers' on and off-ice facilities, general organisation and the local area.
*Tanner Eberle was top scorer in pre-season, with four goals. Brendan Connolly and Nikolai Lemtyugov followed him with three each. *Jackson Whistle made his debut for Panthers in last weekend's 3-1 win over Coventry Blaze in their final pre-season game.