Tauros Time: Pavol Funtek’s path to Minot

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 8:04 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) - Pavol Funtek, a 6 foot 6 inch-tall defenseman, found his path to Minot starting in Slovakia.

Funtek signed with the Minotauros this year after spending one season in Ohio, playing for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL, the league above the NAHL.

He won the league championship with the Phantoms but played limited minutes.

Now he’s seeing far more ice time with Minot.

“I think it really helped me mature. Moving to a different position on the team, more of a leadership position. It’s something new for me but I really enjoy it. I hope I can repay that trust that was put in me by showing up on the ice and being a leader,” said Funtek.

Funtek has played in leagues in Austria, Norway, Sweden and Finland before coming to the United States.

He says the greatest honor of all may have been playing for the Slovakian national team.

“It’s just unbelievable. It’s something that every kid tries for. You don’t really realize it, but once you stand there and sing the national anthem, you look at your jersey and there’s your national team. It is different than playing for a team, you give everything you have,” said Funtek.

Funtek is committed to playing NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The Tauros play the North Iowa Bulls at home this weekend.