Guildford Phoenix

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Petr Cech marks hockey debut with winning shootout save

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Legendary soccer goalkeeper Petr Cech traded in soccer cleats for ice skates this week after joining up with the Guildford Phoenix of the United Kingdom’s National Ice Hockey League.

The 37-year-old made his debut on Sunday, leading the Phoenix to a 3-2 win over the Swindon Wildcats after a shootout. Sporting a mask designed by the great Dave Gunnarsson which featured a tribute to fellow Czech Dominik Hasek and the logos of Arsenal and Chelsea, the two Premier League soccer teams he played for (and in Chelsea’s case, his current employer).

With the score tied at two, the Phoenix and Wildcats entered the shootout and Cech made two stops, including the final one of the game in front of a record crowd of 909.

For his part, Cech was named man of the match.

“I wanted to win, that was the main thing, and I’m glad we did,” Cech said afterward. “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.”

Now, it’s back to work for Cech at Chelsea as the club’s technical and performance advisor until his next appearance in net for the Phoenix.

MORE: Petr Cech trades soccer goal for hockey net, signs with Guildford Phoenix

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Petr Cech trades soccer goal for hockey net, signs with Guildford Phoenix

Guildford Phoenix

Petr Cech is no longer tending goal in soccer after retiring in May following a 20-year career that included time at Chelsea and Arsenal of the English Premier League where he won the league title and FA Cup four times, as well as the 2011-12 Champions League.

A side hobby of the the 37-year-old former Czech goalkeeper, who is currently Chelsea’s Technical And Performance Advisor,  has been playing goal in hockey, and he was recently given the chance to get between the pipes with the National Ice Hockey League’s Guildford Phoenix for practice in August.

That practice opportunity has now turned into a full-fledged contract as Cech signed with the Phoenix on Wednesday and is expected to make his debut on Sunday against the Swindon Wildcats.

 

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to play with the Phoenix to get the match experience,” Cech told the Phoenix website. “I hope I can help this young team to achieve their goals for the season and try to win as many games as possible when I have the chance to play. After 20 years of professional football this is going to be a wonderful experience for me to play the game I loved to watch and play as a kid.”

Hockey has always been in Cech’s blood, but there was one main reason why he eventually landed with soccer, as told Arsenal TV in 2016.

“I always wanted to play ice hockey as a kid, it was always my first choice but at that time you would have to buy all the equipment, so you can imagine the financial aspect of that,” he said.

For the latest Premier League news, check out NBC Sports’ Pro Soccer Talk

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.