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Carolina Thunderbirds adds former WHL first-rounder Polivka


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.- The Carolina Thunderbirds, a proud member of the Federal Prospects Hockey League and 2019 Commissioner’s Cup champions, announced Thursday that Czech goalie Patrik Polivka has signed with the team.

“We were looking for a goaltender and Patrik came along and he has experience from the WHL and the top leagues in Europe and I think he can make a difference for our team and help us compete for another Commissioner’s Cup,” said head coach Andre Niec.

Polivka was the first-round pick of the WHL’s Victoria Royals in 2012 and played 96 games in two seasons with the team.

“This is a big signing for us, to bring in a goalie of Patrik’s caliber is huge for our organization and this helps us a bunch as we make a run for a second championship,” said general manager Jimmy Milliken.

After bouncing up and down in the Czech leagues for two seasons, Polivka settled with HC Slavia Praha and logged a career best save percentage (.923) in 2017.

Polivka played another season with Slavia Praha before having a banner year with Draci Sumperk in 2018-2019, notching a career best goals against average (2.32).

Carolina will open the season on the road at Elmira on October 25.

The Thunderbirds home-opener is November 8 against Danbury. Opening night will feature a rally towel giveaway for all fans in attendance, the championship banner raising, and the team will wear commemorative jerseys that will be auctioned off live after the game.

Full-season, half-season and 10-game rivalry game ticket packs are on sale now. On Tuesday, Sept. 3 eight-game packs will go on sale. Single-game and group tickets will go on sale Monday, Sept. 16.

To get your tickets, call the Thunderbirds front office at (336) 774-4625.

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