If on-ice statistics are any indication, Prince Rupert goaltending product Frank Slubowski seems to be adjusting to life in Poland mighty handily.
Slubowski and his Polish hockey team, Orlik Opole, in the Polska Hokej Liga (Polish Hockey League or PHL) are 4-1 to start the season – good for fourth-place in the 12-team league.
The goalie has posted a combined shutout already, having played two out of three periods with Opole’s other netminder, Jaroslaw Nobis, to secure a 10-0 victory over second-tier team, SMS Sosnowiec.
Versus the PHL’s regular competition, Opole has faced Unia Oswiecim (lost 3-2), Naprzod Janow (won 5-3), Polonia Bytom (won 5-2), Zaglebie Sosnowiec (won 6-1) and Nesta Torun (won 5-2).
The Rupertite is ranked in the top-10 among all goalies in the league with a .929 SV% and 2.02 GAA in six games.
It’s not only in goal where North Americans are making their presence felt, either.
Up front, American Mike Cichy, Slubowski’s current Opole teammate and former teammate at Western Michigan University, leads all Opole skaters in points with five after two games – he has three goals and two assists and is fourth in the league.
Fellow Canadian Alex Szczechura is right on Cichy’s heels with two goals and two assists for four points and Canadian Drew George has three assists to give the team a 1-2-3 punch in American and Canadian offensive threats.
The PHL is always looking for North American players of Polish descent, who after having played two years in the league, can qualify for the Polish national team and play internationally with the country’s program – a prospect Slubowksi has said he is interested in in the past.