BRATISLAVA, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- In the most-attractive duel of the Slovak ice-hockey premiership Tipos Extraliga, Nitra defeated second-ranked Slovan Bratislava 2-1 and moved to the third spot in the standings.
Slovan Bratislava had to relinquish its respectable winning streak after the visiting Nitra turned the match in the capital city around with two consecutive goals in the second period.
Poprad HK used Slovan's defeat to stretch its lead on top and gain some breathing room after a 4-1 victory on the ice of the only Hungarian team playing in the Slovak competition, Miskolc. The tenth team of the standings did not offer a lot of resistance besides answering Poprad's opener early in the second period.
In the derby match between two teams from the central region of the country, the biggest surprise of the season - the confident Detva - managed to outscore Zvolen 4-2 and continued its rise through the rankings, moving to third, only one point behind second Nitra.
Zvolen is the strongest team on home ice and proved it by answering Detva's two first-period goals with two of its own in the second, but the visiting forward Viktor Fekiac scored the game-winner on a rebound effort later on.
In the east of the country, Michalovce managed to break the deadlock in Kosice with two powerplay goals in the final stretch. The home team answered with a powerplay goal to cut the deficit to 1-2 but that was not enough to fend off its third straight defeat in the league and slipping to seventh place despite pulling the goalie in the final moments.
Powerplays were also the deciding factor in the match-up between Nove Zamky and Trencin. The visitors capitalized on two and sealed the clear 3-0 victory with an empty-netter. Trencin's goalie Michal Valent made 27 saves on his first shutout of the season.
After winning only a single match in 22 rounds, Liptovsky Mikulas is seemingly catching its breath and triumphed for the second time in the last three rounds, although still trailing its opponent by 15 points. Liptovsky Mikulas' 23-year-old Finnish goalie Karolus Kaarlehto had a great night, saving 40 shots. Enditem