BRATISLAVA, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Banska Bystrica Hockey Club is leading the Slovak premier ice-hockey league Tipsport Liga thanks to an exceptional nine-game winning streak. Zvolen is still on its heels with six successive victories.
Last-placed Liptovsky Mikulas almost upset Bratislava, one of the title contenders, forcing a shootout in their fifteenth-round clash on Tuesday.
Banska Bystrica is becoming unstoppable and remains on the right track on the road towards their fourth championship in a row. The home team of Detva managed to tie the game at 1-1 early in the game, but the leader of the league scored four more to triumph 5-1 in the end. The Finnish-born Joona Jaaskelainen scored twice to help Banska Bystrica stay on top of the rankings.
Zvolen, located only 20 kilometers from Banska Bystrica, is still keeping pace with their biggest rival, trailing only by two points in the rankings after a close 4-3 win over Poprad. Andreas Strauch, a former player of the home team who had been traded only recently, broke the tie late in the game and scored the game-winning goal for Zvolen, only his second in the season.
Third-placed Bratislava got a surprising scare by the worst team of the league, Liptovsky Mikulas. The visitors who had won only two games out of fourteen this season started great, scoring two goals in the first period. But the team from the capital city managed to close the gap at the very end of regulation time and eventually force a long shootout with the Czech player Jindrich Abdul scoring the game-winner in the ninth series.
The greatest surprise of the fifteenth round was witnessed by the fans of one of the top four title contenders, Kosice. Nove Zamky, occupying the penultimate position in the rankings, lead twice and managed to score the golden goal in overtime by the Czech-born Tomas Pospisil who assisted on both previous goals and set the final score to 3-2.
The match-up between the two Hungarian teams playing in the Slovak league produced a one-sided battle. Miskolc triumphed over Budapest clearly 4-1 thanks to three goals in the second period and gained two spots in the rankings, moving up to seventh.
Last season's silver medalists from Nitra are getting back on track, prevailing over the newcomer Michalovce with emphasis 6-2. Nitra gained back their skilled attacker Samuel Bucek who returned from an unsuccessful trial with the Finnish team Kouvola and celebrated his homecoming by scoring the last goal of the match.