Eurohockey.com's Petr Polák summarizes Round 39 of the Extraliga season, which featured three big match-ups that were all won by the road teams: Vítkovice in Třinec, Brno in Zlín, and Sparta in a duel of the two teams from Prague at O2 Arena, the home of Slavia. And after beating up on Kladno 8-2 last week, Liberec fell big in Plzeň 10-4.
The Extraliga's largest crowd of the season came to watch the Prague derby
at O2 Arena on Sunday. Photo: Pavel Vrtiška, hc-slavia.cz.
Slavia Praha 1 - Sparta Praha 2
Sprata had not beaten Slavia on its home ice for almost four years. Until yesterday. The key to Sparta's victory was the power play: Sparta went 2-for-4, while Slavia went 0-for-3. The game was played in front of the season's largest crowd: 11 284.
Oceláři Třinec 1 - Vítkovice 4
Last season's final series between these teams ended 4-1 in games for Třinec. The Třinec Steelers are the current league champions, but all four of this regular season's meetings with Vítkovice went to the Knights of Ostrava. Even though Třinec's Lukáš Bolf opened the scoring in the 27th minute, nine minutes later it was already 3-1 Víktovice. Bolf has been an untimely scorer for his team in recent weeks; in three of Třinec's last four games he has scored the opening goal, but they have lost them all.
Zlín 2 - Kometa Brno 3 (OT)
During this game the home team was in the lead twice, but in both cases Kometa was able to tie the score. Because it was 2-2 after three periods, the teams had to play overtime. Four minutes into the the extra period, Miroslav Holec scored the game-winner and Brno took two points in the standings.
Plzeň 1929 10 - Bílí Tygři Liberec 4
Liberec skated into this game with a four-game winning streak and coming off a huge 8-2 victory over Kladno, but Plzeň was on an even better roll; they had won 11 game a row and did not want the streak to end yet. Plzeň jumped out to a 4-2 first-period lead and then added five more goals in the second period, while Liberec scored just one. The teams traded goals in the third giving Plzeň 10 goals in a game for the first time in 19 years. The hero of the night was Radek Duda, who scored two goals and three assists, while Petr Nedvěd had two points for Liberec; the two are now tied for the league lead with 44 points.
Rytíři Kladno 3 - České Budějovice 1
Finally, after two weeks of the new year, Kladno won a game. Tomáš Knotek contributed a lot to this victory by socring two goals. České Budějovice was seeking for more luck in their shots with no big effect.
Mladá Boleslav 4 - Karlovy Vary 2
As the last-place team in the league's standings, Mladá Boleslav has had to play a relegation round against the best team of the 1.liga three years in a row. This year, all the players and the management of the club are looking for a change. But before the game against direct rival Karlovy Vary, the club was in the last position on the table again. Fortunately for Mladá Boleslav, the home team won this game and moved ahead of Karlovy Vary.
|1||HC Sparta Praha||39||21||6||6||6||122:79||81|
|2||HC Plzeň 1929||39||21||6||5||7||140:102||80|
|3||HC ČSOB Pojišťovna Pardubice||39||19||3||5||12||131:95||68|
|4||HC Moutfield České Budějovice||38||20||3||2||13||107:93||68|
|5||Bílí Tygři Liberec||39||15||9||1||14||104:100||64|
|7||HC Vítkovice Steel||38||15||4||3||16||104:104||56|
|8||HC Oceláři Třinec||39||14||3||7||15||110:105||55|
|10||HC Kometa Brno||38||12||5||4||17||97:102||50|
|11||HC Verva Litvínov||39||11||7||3||18||101:127||50|
|12||HC Slavia Praha||40||13||2||5||20||99:122||48|
|13||BK Mladá Boleslav||40||11||2||5||22||86:124||42|
|14||HC Energie Karlovy Vary||39||11||2||4||22||102:124||41|
|8||Gulaš Milan||Č. Bud.||36||15||20||35||6||40|