Kosice stretches Tipsport Liga winning streak to 12 after shootout drama

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-29 19:52:10|Editor: ZX
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BRATISLAVA, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Kosice Hockey Club could have its tremendous eleven-game winning streak cut before the Tipsport Liga leader held its nerve in a thrilling shootout to prevail 4-3 over Hungaria's Miskolc on Saturday.

The entire league's most productive player Marcel Hascak capitalized on the game-winning shootout attempt, completing his hat-trick in the process for Kosice.

Second-ranked Slovan Bratislava registered its first triumph in the last four rounds after defeating the other Hungarian team in the Slovak league, Budapest, 4-0 in the 35th round to cut the deficit to Kosice to 6 points.

The visitor proved vicious especially in the second period, scoring three consecutive goals. Bratislava's goalie Vladislav Habal finished the night with his first shutout of the season.

Banska Bystrica keeps biting at Bratislava's heels with the same amount of points (66) gained in the rankings. The last season's champions won their third straight match after a close 1-0 victory over the penultimate team in the league Nove Zamky.

The visitor's excuse for a surprisingly weak performance was the absence of five players from the starting line up due to injuries and other health issues.

Defenseman Vladimir Mihalik decided the game in the last period. Banska Bystrica's back-up goalie Matej Gajan also performed his first shutout of the season.

A significantly larger portion of goals was served to the fans in Detva. The home team ranked 10th in the league started off better against Trencin, winning the first period 2-1 but the visitors answered with five consecutive goals to put the game away at 7-3 in the end.

The 17-year-old forward Martin Chromiak managed to score one for the visiting team on his farewell-game before departing to play in the Canadian Ontario Hockey League. Trencin's forward Marek Hecl was the only player with two goals on the board, opening and closing the score of the match.

Elsewhere, last-placed Liptovsky Mikulas was the ideal opponent for Zvolen which is slowly gaining back its momentum from the earlier stages of the season.

After an evenly matched 1-1 introductory period, Zvolen cranked up the heat and scored five consecutive goals, two by the Canadian forward Allan McPherson who completed his hat-trick and helped put the game away at 6-1, almost replicating Zvolen's 6-0 triumph from Thursday against Nove Zamky.

Poprad, Zvolen, and Miskolc are now tied in the middle of the league table with 53 points.

Nitra's Kenney Morrison and Michalovce's Igor Safaraleyev led their respective team's scoring with two goals in the closely played battle between two neighboring teams of the Tipsport Liga standings which was ultimately decided in overtime.

The visitor's veteran forward Gabriel Spilar showed his killer instincts once more and provided the game-winner for the league's newcomer 65 seconds into overtime.

Michalovce caught up to Nitra after the 5-4 triumph, both teams earning 46 points in the 35 rounds.