|Vítkovice goalie Roman Málek raises his arms in celebration|
as time expires against Třinec, lifting his team into first place.
The Tipsport Extraliga schedule reached its halfway point on Tuesday, with round 26 of 52 taking place. Actually, five of the 14 teams had already reached the halfway mark in games, including one that is fighting for top spot overall.
HC Vítkovice Steel and HC Ocelaří Třinec have been neck-and-neck for top spot for some time now, and on Tuesday they went head-to-head at ČEZ Arena in Ostrava (Vítkovice's home rink) in a first-place showdown. Both teams entered the game tied in points with 50, with Třinec holding a game in hand. 9,002, Vítkovice's largest home crowd of the season, turned out to watch their team win the game 3-2 and take over top spot in the Extraliga standings. After the teams swapped goals in the first eight minutes of the game, the home side struck twice in the second period, and then survived a late Třinec attack, in which they narrowed the lead late, but were unable to equalise.
|Sparta's David Vyborný scores the shootout winner against Karlovy|
Vary goaltender Lukáš Mensator. Photo courtesy Marek Mikeš.
|Radek Dlouhý scoring the OT winner, as Kometa fans behind|
the goal get ready to celebrate. Photo courtesy Pavel Vrtiška.
HC Plzeň 1929 4-1 PSG Zlín
BK Mladá Boleslav 2-4 HC Eaton Pardubice
HC Vagnerplast Kladno 1-5 HC Benzina Litvínov
Bílí Tigři Liberec 3-1 HC Mountfield České Budějovice
Standings at the season's halfway point: