HC Košice
41. kolo
1 : 2
(1:1, 0:1, 0:0)
MHK 32 Liptovský Mikuláš

HC Košice MHK 32 Liptovský Mikuláš 1:2 (1:1, 0:1, 0:0)

Goals and assists: 15. Rapáč 5. Vrábeľ (Tamáši, Huna), 39. Vybíral (Michalčin, Piatka)

Penalized players: 3:2 for two minutes, power plays: 0:0 defense play: 0-0, referees: Fridrich, Goga Beniač, Frimmel, 5626 divákov

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

MHK 32 Liptovský Mikuláš: Zalivin (Romančík) Kurali, Kramár, Droppa, Petran (C), Michalčin, Roman, Smutný, Mezovský (A) Ru. Huna (C), Tamáši, Vrábeľ Vybíral, Piatka, Surový Kriška, Ró. Huna, Ri. Huna Haluška, Oško, Uhrík

Despite the game having a slower start, the first period has already brought several interesting moments. During the opening minutes, the forwards had a hard time against positionally well playing defenses, so both teams were waiting for the first mistake. It was eventually made by Liptovský Mikuláš, as they let the puck get to Suja standing in front of the crease. But in the crucial moment they didn't let him shoot. The score changed for the fist time in 5th minute.  Košice had the puck, but the visitors counter-attacked.  Vrábeľ sent a snapshot from the left wing and there was no chance for Škorvánek. Liptovský Mikuláš took the lead.  Later, Košice launched the offensive in front of the opponent’s net with only 1 aim - to tie.  The first one who could do so was Haščák, but in the 9th minute, he only hit the construction of Zalivin's net. Three minutes later, Zeleňák with his slapshot wasn't successful form the blue line either. Despite all the efforts, the score didn't turn into Košice's advantage before the break. It came in 15th minute in a very unlucky way from the point of view of the visitors. In a rather chaotic situation, somehow, they sent the puck to their own net, goal was added to Rapáč's score. During final minutes of the first, the home team could even take the lead. Haščák and Suja had some great scoring chances, but they both needed few more centimeters around Zalivin's body. The players went to the locker room tied 1-1.  

At the beginning of the middle period, the visitors could be a little bit more active, as they had 31 power-play seconds of Borňák's penalty. Nevertheless, Košice's defense was really making their lives miserable, and Liptovský Mikuláš thus didn't get a nice scoring chance. However, the chance arrived after Bortňák's return to the rink. Rudolf Huna got into a breakaway and skated right in front of Škorvánek but didn't manage to overcome the goaltender of Košice. Škorvánek guarded the crease and added another good action to his credit. Neither in 27th minute the guests succeed when Škorvánek tried to deal with a chaotic situation. Vybíral tried to skate there quickly, but he slipped and ended up only sliding in front of the goal. Guests had two more good opportunities to score. One of Hunovec brothers - Robert had a chance to score in 30th minute. He speeded up and got the opportunity to fire a shot from close range, but it was not enough to overcome Škorvánek and score. Neither in 4th minute did Škorvánek concede a goal when he left the crease to help out his teammates. But the puck bounced back between the circles where Tamáši tried to shoot, Škorvánek however got it under control with assistance from Zeleňák.  The score changed in 39th minute. At that moment Košice put Zalivin under pressure, but paradoxically, it was the Steelers who conceded a goal when Vybíral broke away, fired a shot and scored. Liptovský Mikuláš was leading 2:1 after two periods.

If the Steelers wanted to score and fight for the leading position in the tipsport ranking, they had to at least tie the score. But it was obvious that it would be very difficult against opponents' well-organized defense. That was the reason why during first minutes of the 3rd period they didn't produce a chance to score despite their great effort.  First serious opportunity to tie came after almost six minutes of the game. Rapáč passed the puck to the blue line and Bortňák tried to tip it in the goal crease. The puck however missed the area of 3 poles of Zalivin's goal. Košice continued their offensive game and in the following moments, despite shooting from all positions, the puck didn't want to end up the opponent's net. It stayed this way until the very end, even though the Steelers did put Liptovský Mikuláš under pressure. After all, three points went to the northern part of Slovakia.

Peter Draisaitl, coach of Kosice: "Liptovský Mikuláš deserved to win. We've been having troubles for a longer time now and it escalated in Bratislava. It is the same as when you go to take the exam and you don't study for it. Then there is no solution. The boys must pull themselves together and realize that behind every success is hard work."

Anton Tomko, coach of Liptovský Mikuláš: "Before the match we worked mainly on the mind-set. We knew that Košice would be front-runners, but compared to other matches, skating was our strength. Goal of Vrábeľ kicked it off. We managed to win thanks to our fighting spirit and luck. Three points are our encouragement for the upcoming matches to fight for the second-to-last place. We don't give up!"