32 years ago, we enjoyed the second Federal League title
Today, on April 27, we recall one of the greatest successes of the Košice hockey. 32 years ago, we defeated Sparta in Prague 6:5pp in the thrilling match and obtained our second Federation Championship title. Igor Liba was the captain of the team; at the overtime he invented a clever pass to J. Vodila, and it decided. This way Košice became the only Slovak representative managing to win twice the Federal League.
Košice players recall their memories in the interview for hokej.sk:
Igor Liba: “It was all me. Even though I had empty net, I rather simply passed. I dare to say that even Gretzky would not pass in such a situation. It was clear chance, but I always looked for a team-mate. I also train my children in the Academy this way. I always remind them that ice hockey is a collective game.
Ján Vodila: It was amazing to win with Sparta after such a goal. Igor was like that. When he could, he waited with the pass until the last minute. We grew up together already in student teams in Prešov and knew of each other even with one's eyes closed. Miro Ihnačák also teamed up with us perfectly before his transfer. We had Juraj Bondra and Mojo Božík in defense. It was really a very nice offense.”
The entire Košice were on their feet after arrival of the players at home:
Miroslav Marcinko: “It was fantastic. When our small airplane landed in Košice, we noticed crowds of people. Their number forced to open the stadium and our old barn cracked at the seams. The support of people was incredible and when I think about it, chills pass through my body. At night it looked like the 1st May celebrations from the airport up to the stadium.”
VSŽ Košice line-up:
Goalies: Pavol Švárny, Jaromír Dragan, Jozef Škrak
Defenders: Jerguš Bača, Juraj Bakoš, Juraj Bondra, Mojmír Božík, Miroslav Danko, Milan Jančuška, Miroslav Marcinko, Peter Slanina
Forwards: Anton Bartánus, Viliam Belas, Peter Bondra, Igor Liba, Jaroslav Spodniak, Milan Staš, Vladimír Svitek, Otto Sýkora, Marián Štefanovič, Igor Talpaš, Roman Trebatický, Peter Veselovský, Ján Vodila, Pavol Zůbek, Peter Zůbek, Miroslav Žabka
Coaches: Ján Faith, Ján Šterbák
Two years ago, we commemorated this historic event along with the involved players in Steel Arena, when Július Lang, President of HC Košice, handed them over commemorative plaques to recall them the achieved success.