HC Košice
42. kolo
3 : 2
(0:0, 3:2, 0:0)
HKM Zvolen

HKM Zvolen — HC Košice 3:2 (0:0, 3:2, 0:0)

Goals and assists: 21. Halama (Trotter, Tomko), 26. Betker (Thompson, Corrin), 29. Trotter (Halama, Švarný) — 27. Sukeľ (Belluš, Skokan), 31. Milý (Bortňák, Koch)

Penalized players: 6:6 for two minutes, power plays: 1:0 defense play: 0-0, referees: Štefik, Fridrich — Gegáň, Synek, 1807 divákov

HKM Zvolen: Hollý (Tomek) – Betker, Stephenson, Corrin, Tomko, Meliško, Švarný (C) – Kelemen, Trotter, Halama – McPherson, Špirko (A), Parks – Thompson, Mráz, Štrauch – Tibenský, Petráš, Marcinek – Kolenič

HC Košice: Košarišťan (Škorvánek) – Slovák, Koch (A), Pavlin, Růžička, Čížek (A), Zeleňák, Bučko – Majdan, Chovan, Haščák – Belluš, Skokan (C), Sukeľ – Rapáč, Bortňák, Klhůfek – Milý, Suja, Jokeľ

Match between Zvolen and Košice progressed intensively. Even though we didn’t see a consistent forward action right after the first face-off, both teams kept on trying to create the actions in the following minutes of the first period. First-better chance was also the first significant one. The chance came for the players of Košice who were looking for Milý in front of the net. They did find him. However, Steelers’ forward missed the area among three poles of Zvolen during the decisive moment. Two minutes later, the score remained unchanged. Betker tried it with a one timer but Košarišťan was well prepared. The goaltender of Steelers was also more successful during the opportunity of the home team in 9th minute. This time it was McPherson who managed to produce a chance for the contact goal but couldn’t shoot across Košarišťan. In 15th minute, Thompson tipped the flying puck and perfectly tripped out the goaltender of Košice. Guests were lucky because Košarišťan laid down on the puck in the last minute and stopped the game. Probably the biggest chance of the first period came in the last minute when Klhůfek got the puck. He had a good plan when he played a back-hander to overcome Hollý to get to in front of the net but then hit only a top pole. The video analysis right after the shot didn't change anything, so after 20 minutes of game, the score 0:0 remained unchanged.

Both teams wanted to alter the score during the second period. And they managed to do it relatively quickly. The second period started for Zvolen like a fairy tale when after six minutes of the game, they took the lead 2:0. At the end of 21st minute Halama scored. The puck probably slightly touched one of the players in front of the net which confused Košarišťan. Four minutes later, the home team used their chance during power-play. Thompson didn't shoot precisely, but then the puck landed on the stick of Betker who increased the lead of Zvolen. Steelers managed to react quickly — 25 seconds right after that. In the middle of 27th minute, Zvolen wasn't

careful enough when Sukeľ got too much space in front of Hollý. After an ideal pass from Belluš, Sukeľ scored the first goal for Košice. Zvolen scored again in 29th minute. Trotter shot from an ideal position and the puck went from the circles right above Košarišťan's glove. Goaltender of Košice was helpless and Zvolen took a two-goal lead once again. But it didn't last long. At the beginning of 31st minute Milý showed his strength when after the first unsuccessful attempt with Hollý blocking his strike, he tipped the puck straight into the net and scored. The pressure from Košice was rising mainly during the second and third period. Haščák, Zeleňák and Slovák had good opportunities to score. Thanks to his poles, Hollý didn't let any other shot pass him and the score throughout the rest of the second period remained unchanged.

If Košice wanted to alter the score, they had to score in the last period. They accommodated their game and didn't ease up their offense. They prepared two big chances in the middle of 45th minute. First Belluš hit Hollý and then Skokan missed the net when shooting from circles. In 50th minute, Košice played power-play 5 on 3 but only for 44 seconds. Coach Draisaitl reacted to the situation with a time-out, but at the end, the guests didn't surprise Zvolen. Although, Steelers had several good chances to score in the last two 10-minute periods. Home team managed to withstand the pressure of the host team. Zvolen guarder the lead until the very end, so three points remain in central Slovakia. The position in the table remained unchanged for both teams.

Andrej Podkonický, Zvolen's coach: "I am happy that we fought today and finished the game victorious. Mainly after the final period when Košice put us under pressure. But the situation in which we concede a goal right after we get into 2-goal leading cannot happen anymore. We didn't give an optimal performance during the whole match, but thanks to our fighting spirit, we managed to win.

Peter Draisaitl, coach of Kosice: "Right now we are trying to find ourselves again, we lost our identity. Even though we managed to get back together and tried to tie the score, we are not the same team, same Košice, that used to win. Right now, it is about our state of mind, but we believe that we overcome this struggle and get back on the old track of winning streak."