Ice Hockey
Blaze new-boy set for the challenge

By Steve Carpenter Thursday 11 October 2012 Updated: 11/10 10:25

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Buy photos » Matt Beleskey has joined Coventry Blaze from the NHL League. (s) Photo by Robert Binder/NHLI via Getty Images)

NEW Blaze signing Matt Beleskey said he could not wait to sample ice hockey in Britain ahead of his expected debut in the Challenge Cup this weekend.

The 24-year-old from Ontario joined Paul Thompson's side this week from Anaheim Ducks because of an NHL lock-out, which has seen players fall out with the leagues' officials over financial issues.

Beleskey made 173 regular season and play-off appearances for Anaheim, registering 44 points, and is available for selection when Blaze host Nottingham Panthers in Sunday’s cup tie.

"I am excited to be on my way over," said Beleskey.

"I had been trying to find my way overseas to play and luckily enough a friend of my dad's was able to put me in contact with Coventry.

"I was excited about the opportunity and very happy it's worked out.

"I'm very excited to get the chance to experience the British culture and see an amazing part of the world, and happy about the opportunity Coventry have offered me.

"I just can't wait to get out on the ice."

Beleskey admitted the fall-out in the NHL league had been frustrating.

"For the first time I found myself with nowhere to play, which is not a great feeling. I love playing the game and being told you are not allowed to is very frustrating.

"To be honest I did not know a lot about the Elite League until last week but in the last few days I have learnt quite a bit.

"I know a few players on other teams I have talked to and have played against a few along the way in my career.

"From what I have heard and watching some clips online the Elite League offers a similar North American style of hockey as well as a chance to play."

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