BRATISLAVA, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Second-ranked Slovan Bratislava Hockey Club loses steam in Tipsport Liga's second stage of the regular season, coming out empty-handed in its third consecutive match, succumbing 4-1 to third-ranked Kosice on Sunday in Slovakian ice hockey league.
Leading Banska Bystrica, on the other hand, wins its fifth in a row to stretch the lead on top of the Group A to nine points.
Trencin managed to defeat Zvolen and tie its 90 points, moving up one spot in the standings to fifth.
In Group B, the fight for the last two playoff spots remains interesting with Miskolc crushing Nitra 6-1 and taking its eighth spot in the standings.
Bratislava saw its distance from Kosice dwindle in the last few rounds. With only six rounds left to play in the regular season, Bratislava leads third Kosice by only a single point now.
The home team scored the go-ahead goal in the first period but Kosice capitalized on two power plays in the second and added two more goals in the final outing by the hands of Dalibor Bortnak to take home a crucial victory.
In the central region of Slovakia, Banska Bystrica's first line had a field day, scoring four of the five goals against Poprad.
The home team's Canadian forward Jordan Hickmott and Finn Joona Jaaskelainen both scored twice, their third linesman Cason Hohmann from the USA assisted on all four goals.
Milan Bartovic's two goals pushed Trencin over the edge in a tight battle against Zvolen, securing its third victory in a row and keeping the battle for the fourth position very much alive.
Out of the six teams battling it out for the last two playoff spots in Group B, Michalovce retains its leading position with 78 points after defeating Budapest 3-0 on Sunday.
With one goal scored in each period, the league's newcomer gradually built its lead, capitalizing on two-man advantages and killing all of their own penalties.
Michalovce's goalie Filip Surak made a respectable 39 saves on his first Tipsport Liga shutout.
Miskolc, the other Hungarian team in the league, currently boasts the best form, winning its fourth in a row, overwhelming Nitra 6-1 in a match that could turn out to be key in the fight for the upcoming playoffs.
The home team was going into the final period down 3-1 and gambled on a man advantage by pulling its goalie but Miskolc managed to score into the empty net through Ryan Harrison on his second of the night and definitely break Nitra's resistance, finishing the rest of the match in cruise mode.
Despite sitting in the last spot in the rankings, the struggling team from Detva managed to turn its match around after being down by two and earn an overtime victory against Nove Zamky.
Ladislav Scurko completed his hat-trick in the last minute of OT to please the home fans, snapping Detva's five-game losing streak in the process.