Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Litvínov and Slavia win series openers

Both Extraliga play-in series opened Wednesday, with Benzina Litvínov hosting Plzeň 1929 and Slavia Praha hosting Energie Karlovy Vary. In both cases, the home team won. Litvínov beat Plzeň 4-2, while Slavia edged Karlovy Vary 4-3 in overtime.

Benzina Litvínov 4-2 Plzeň 1929
(Litvínov leads series 1-0)

Martin Heinsich celebrates the goal that puts Litvinov up 2-0.
Litvínov dominated the first period of this game, with Jakub Černý opening the scoring after 28 seconds, and the lead being increased midway through the period on a power play by Matěj Stříteský.

In the second period, the home side looked to increase its lead, but Plzeň goaltender Luboš Horčička committed grand larceny against Litvínov forward Lukáš Rindoš, making an incredible glove save when he had almost the entire net to shoot at. Finally, Pavel Vostřak cut the lead in half when he one-timed a pass from Martin Straka past goaltender Martin Volke. In the final minute of the period, Litvínov's two-goal lead was restored when Ivan Svarný deflected a point shot past , making the score 3-1 after forty minutes.

Once again, Plzeň cut the lead to one early in the third period. Straka dropped a pass to Vostřak, whose shot rung off the crossbar behind Volke. Tomáš Vlasák was then in the right place to sweep the loose puck into the unguarded cage and make the score 3-2 Litvínov. Černý scored his second of the game with under six minutes to play, and Plzeň couldn't cut into the lead any further, despite a late power play. Litvinov took game one on home ice.

Click here to watch Game one between Litvínov and Plzeň in its entirety.

Slavia Praha 4-3 Energie Karlovy Vary (shootout)
(Slavia leads series 1-0)

Tomáš Svoboda scores the shootout winner in game one.
Photo: Martin Prokop,
The visitors jumped out to the early lead in this game, with Tomáš Klíma and Petr Kumstát giving them a 2-0 lead before Jiří Vašiček cut their lead to 2-1 in the last minute of the opening period.

In the second period, Kumstát tallied his second of the game, giving the visitors a 3-1 advantage, but Slavia came back in the third period with goals from Petr Jelínek and Jakub Krejčík to tie the score. After a scoreless overtime, the game went to a shootout. Tied at two goals apiece, Tomáš Svoboda broke the tie and scored the shootout- and game-winning goal against Lukáš Mensator as Slavia struck first blood in the series.

Both series play their second games Thursday. The start times are 17:40 in Litvínov and 18:15 in Prague and it seems that both games should be available at

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