Thunderbirds keep Czech pieces Salak and Panacek

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.- The Carolina Thunderbirds, proud members of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, announced Monday that forwards Jan Salak and Petr Panacek have re-signed with the team for the 2020-2021 season.

“We are excited to have these guys back,” said director of hockey operations and head coach Andre Niec, “they are important pieces to our roster and they are hard workers for us.”

Panacek led the team in assists and points (44a, 69p) in his second season with the Thunderbirds. The Czech forward’s 25 goals are the most in a single season in his career.

Panacek had the distinction of scoring the first goal of the season against Elmira in a 2-0 win on October 25.

In the final weekend of play before the COVID-19 stoppage, Panacek blasted Columbus for 6 points in three games. He also scored a hat trick in a win vs. Battle Creek on November 29.

Salak led the Thunderbirds in goals this past season (29) and ranked second on the team in points (60). Salak’s 29 tallies are the most by any Thunderbird in a single season in team history.

Entering his sixth season in the league, Salak rejoins Carolina for his fourth season with the Thunderbirds after stints in Brewster and Berlin.

Also hailing from the Czech Republic, Salak scored the game-winning goal in a shootout vs. Mentor on January 10. He netted a hat trick on December 27 against Battle Creek.

Season ticket packages for the 2020-2021 season are available now. To purchase, please fill out the interest form on the website and wait for one of our season ticket representatives to get in touch with you.

While the state of North Carolina has entered phase one of reopening, the Thunderbirds offices will remain closed during this phase. Please stay tuned to our website and social media channels for more updates regarding COVID-19.