As the Tipsport Extraliga approaches the halfway point of its schedule, the standings remain compact. Every round of games shuffles the deck a little bit, and Sunday was no different. All 14 teams were in action on the same day for round 25 of the league's 52-game schedule.
At the top of the table, HC Olelaří Třinec and HC Vítkovice Steel both managed to win and remain tied for first place. Vítkovice routed a floundering Sparta Praha club 4-1 in Prague, while Třínec shut out a Plzeň squad that had been resurgent as of late.
Doug O'Brien's return to Sparta's blueline, after sitting out one game with an injured shoulder, was unable to help his team break a losing streak that has now reached six games.
Meanwhile, in Třinec, Peter Hamerlík made 31 saves for his third shutout of the season, frustrating Plzeň attackers all night. In an attempt to shake things up, coach Marian Jelínek split up the duo of John Lammers and Nick Johnson, who normally play together. Johnson saw action with Radek Duda and Martin Straka, while Lammers ended up with Michal Dvořák and Martin Heřman. For Třinec, who won 4-0, Bryan McGregor of Niagra Falls, ON played on a line with Jan Peterek and Jakub Osrava.
In his second game with BK Mladá Boleslav, Oshawa, ON's Scott Barney recorded his second point. Barney played on Boleslav's top line with Daniel Boháč and Tomáš Divíšek, and trio struck twice to give Boleslav an early lead in a game they desperately needed to try to get themselves back into the playoff race. However, HC Slavia Praha were just as desperate and stormed back to win the game, 3-2 on the road. Jiří Doležal scored the winning goal early in the third period, as Slavia moved into a ninth-place tie with HC Benzina Litvínov.
And in a battle for fifth place, HC Eaton Pardubice won on the road against PSG Zlín, 4-3. Pardubice's two Americans, defenceman Jeff Jillson and left-winger Adam Pineault were both pointless, with Jillson picking up a tripping minor in the third period.
HC Kometa Brno 3-0 HC Vagnerplast Kladno
HC Mountfield České Budějovice 3-2 HC Energie Karlovy Vary (OT)
HC Benzina Litvínov 0-1 Bílí Tigři Liberec