Fantastic team spirit is keeping Padelek happy
Import star Ales Padelek couldn't be happier as he attempts to help Phantoms to title glory.
The Czech forward has been a classy performer for the city side during a campaign which has already seen them lift the NIHL Autumn Cup.
And they are well placed to make another strong challenge for NIHL Division One South honours after agonisingly missing out on the crown to Basingstoke last season.
Phantoms currently sit a point behind leaders Swindon but boast four games in hand on the Wildcats.
“We were in a good position last season and ended up missing out on the amount of goals we scored,” said Padelek, who hit a hat-trick as Raiders were thumped 7-1 last Sunday.
“Of course we would love to do it and we are doing all we can to try to make it happen this year.
“The league title is the biggest trophy in my opinion as it shows you have been the best team all season.
“There is a great spirit in the changing room. It is the best I’ve known in my time in Peterborough.
“In games, in practice, in the bar and even on the WhatsApp group, it is always fun to be a part of it.
“The only time I have enjoyed playing hockey as much as I am doing now was when I was in a team with my brother almost 20 years ago.
“Things haven’t gone our way lately with us losing some points in the last minute or in overtime so it was really good to get back on the winning track against Raiders.
“We have a group of players who leave everything on the ice in every game we play - and we can’t ask for any more.
“Everyone wants to help each other and the team. We have seen that all season and it is great to be part of it.”
Padelek has piled up 46 points (19 goals and 27 assists) in all competitions this term. He is set to make his 200th appearance for Phantoms when they host struggling Milton Keynes Thunder at Planet Ice on Saturday, 7pm.
It’s the first clash of a weekend double-header against those opponents with a Buckinghamshire return following on Sunday, 6.45pm.
And Padelek insists they are games which cannot be taken lightly.
He added: “Just because they are second-bottom in the table does not mean Milton Keynes are a bad team.
“They have a great young goalie who can be a match-winner and they have already given us some tough games.
“We’ll treat the games this weekend in the same way as if we were playing another of the teams going for the title.”