BRATISLAVA, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- With only eight rounds to go in the regular season of the Slovak premier ice hockey league Tipsport Liga, Banska Bystrica increased its lead over illness-plagued Bratislava in a direct clash on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, the sixth-ranked Trencin managed to rally against Kosice and snap its five-game losing streak.
In the second group of teams that are fighting for the last two playoff spots, Nitra was able to tie Michalovce thanks to a tremendous last period, but lost in OT and was forced to yield its eighth place to Miskolc, which climbed to a playoff position in a very long time after a close victory over Nove Zamky.
Slovan Bratislava's five-game winning streak came to an abrupt end in the second round of the second stage of the Tipsport Liga's regular season after an overtime dagger by Banska Bystrica's veteran forward Martin Kriska who also assisted on the game-tying goal in the third period.
The home team's third consecutive victory stretched its lead on top of the standings to 3 points.
Third Kosice is trailing Bratislava also by 3 points after serving fifth-ranked Zvolen is third defeat in a row.
The home team was the first to strike but Kosice answered with 3 consecutive goals and took over the match, triumphing 5-2 eventually.
Elsewhere, Poprad was on the right track to win its third in a row, going into the second period against Trencin up 3-1 but the home team cranked up its efforts and scored five goals in a row, triumphing 6-3 with six different scorers.
In the east of the country, Michalovce is on a roll winning its fifth straight game.
With four consecutive goals (two by Matej Gilak), the home team thought it had the match in the bag.
However, Nitra showed courage in the final act, capitalized on two powerplays and after two more goals by Samuel Bucek who tied the game in the last second, forced overtime.
Nitra's perfect turnover got thwarted in OT by Michalovce's Mikko Pukka who set the final score of a thrilling match to 5-4.
Nitra's overtime defeat opened the door of opportunity for Miskolc, one of the two Hungarian teams playing in the Slovak league, and it jumped at it, edging out Nove Zamky by a single goal 4-3. Bence Sziranyi became the hero of the match, scoring the game-winner in the penultimate minute, enabling Miskolc to move up to the eighth place in the standings that guarantees the final playoff spot at the end of the second stage of the regular season.
Budapest, the other Hungarian team, is not doing as good as its country rival, sitting in tenth place and trailing Miskolc by 16 points despite defeating the last-ranked Detva 5-2 on Tuesday.
The home team's discipline turned out to be the key factor as Budapest capitalized on three powerplays, serving Detva its fourth consecutive defeat.
The following are the results of the Tipsport Liga on Tuesday:
Group A (1-6)
HC '05 Banska Bystrica 4 HC Slovan Bratislava 3 (overtime)
HKM Zvolen 2 HC Kosice 5
HK Dukla Trencin 6 HK Poprad 3
Group B (7-12)
HK Dukla Ingema Michalovce 5 HK Nitra 4 (overtime)
HC Mikron Nove Zamky 3 DVTK Jegesmedvek Miskolc 4
HC 07 WPC Koliba Detva 2 MAC Budapest 5