HC Košice
40. kolo
3 : 2
(0:1, 2:0, 1:1)
HK Dukla Trenčín

HK Dukla Trenčín

HC Košice — HK Dukla Trenčín 3:2 (0:1, 2:0, 1:1)

Goals and assistance: 21. Haščák (Skokan, Květoň), 25. Rapáč (Bortňák, Jokeľ), 54. Suja (Koch, Pavlin) – 14. Kajínek (Lapšanský), 51. Sojčík (Lapšanský, Valach)

Penalized players: 2:4 for two minutes, power plays: 0:0 penalty kill: 0:0, Referees: Müllner, Baluška — Šoltés, J. Konc Jr., 4820 visitors

HC Košice: Košarišťan (Škorvánek) — Slovák, Růžička, Pavlin, Koch (A), Čížek (A), Repe, Zeleňák — Květoň, Skokan (C), Haščák — Belluš, Chovan, Klhůfek — Rapáč, Bortňák, Suja — Milý, Eliáš, Jokeľ

HK Dukla Trenčín: Valent (Tomek) — McCormack, Sládok, Bokroš, Starosta (A), Stacha, Kajínek, Rajnoha — Alderson, Mikyska, Bezúch — Sojčík (A), Valach, Hecl — Lapšanský, Švec, Bartovič (C) — Džugan, Balán, Ferényi

The ceremonial face-off preceded the match. The legendary athletic pair of sisters Danka and Janka Velďákové, natives from Košice, took care of it. 

Then the Tipsport League hockey started at full speed — and, of course, it was worth watching. Both teams were very active from the beginning and they demonstrated some nice end-plays. So, we had not to wait longer for the first great chance. It came at the end of the third minute, when Květoň exchanged the puck several times with Skokan. Finally, the pass was directed to the blue line, while David Květoň was trying to make a good shot from there in front of the net area. However, the puck closely missed the area of the net. The Steelers were not happy even five minute later when the second man mentioned in the above cooperation had his chance. Skokan received a pass directly in front of the net, where he was still trying to trick Valent by backhand. But he finally shot over the net of Dukla along with the Trenčín goalkeeper. So, there was a penalty on the opposite side. In the 14th minute the puck was passed inconspicuously from the circle but finally it found its way into Košarišťan's net. Visiting Kajínek was the first on the list of goal scorers. Košice team tried to equalize even before the break; they sent several good shots. It is worth mentioning for example the shot by Suja, but this short but sharp shot did not surprise Valent. The goalkeeper of Trenčín guarded his closer net pole and did not allow the change of score of the match. So, after twenty minutes of match Dukla was leading with score 1:0.

Of course, Košice Steelers did not agree with the similar result. In the second period they were aggressive against their opponent and threatened it several times — with the only intention to change the score in their favor. They succeeded very quickly - after 40 seconds of the game Haščák took advantage of the riposte and scored a goal. Almost four minutes later also Rapáč followed up his goal and scored a goal from between the circles. From that moment the Steelers came to life and it was very difficult for the defense of their opponent to stop their attacks. And, therefore the home team developed several goal chances. The first chance was at the end of the 26th minute when Květoň was left alone on the right side. It was not a goal, Valent moved and shot in a famous way. Neither the goal by Haščák shot from the immediate vicinity was successful.  However, Košice defense led by Košarišťan had to be careful on the opposite side, As Trenčín was outnumbered two against one, Bezúch took over the responsibility. But his pungent shot clinked only on the rear plexiglass. And when McCormack failed with his end-play from the blue line in the half of the 44th minute, it was clear that Košice will win 2:1 after 40 minutes of the game.

And if Dukla Trenčín still wanted to score the points, it had to score at least once. However, Košice entered the third period with intention to keep the first rank in the chart, so they were extremely attentive in the defense lines. On the contrary, they took chance themselves. Already in the 42nd minute it could be more cheerful from the perspective of the home team. Haščák tipped well the shot attempt from the blue line, but finally the puck flew just over the net of Valent. Košice then held the opponent far away from the net of Košarišťan, Trenčín was not able to develop necessary pressure. They were not successful even during the power play. However, then Sojčík guided the puck to the right side and he perfectly attempted a shot from behind the defender. So, the score was equalized again from the 51st minute. But it only applied until the half of the 54th minute. Then Suja came with his uncompromising end-play and he perfectly hit the corner of the net of Valent. In the very end the home team guarded it and so they added three more points to the chart. So, nothing is changed in their position and Košíce are still the first. 

Peter Draisaitl, Coach of Košice: “We are able to achieve perfect performance, but we also have weaker phases during the match. It requires better consistency of performance during the whole 60 minutes. I would like to compliment our third formation Rapáč — Bortňák — Suja also for previous four matches. It was not by chance and not by mistake that they decided today.”

Ján Pardavý, Coach of Trenčín: “The match was interesting, open almost until the end. I think we deserved the point for the performance in the first and third period. We were in the lead, then we conceded twice under pressure. Even though we equalized in the third part, we incomprehensibly left to Košice a room to threaten us. Incomprehensibly, we left them room to threaten us.  And it was decisive.”