HKM Zvolen one win away from finals in Slovak Tipos Extraliga

2021-04-19 02:06:17 GMT2021-04-19 10:06:17(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BRATISLAVA, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Another solid performance on HC Slovan Bratislava's ice put HKM Zvolen ahead 3-1 in the semifinal playoff series in the Slovak ice-hockey premiership.

The regular-season winners achieved a 4-2 victory on Sunday and are now only one win away from advancing to the playoff finals.

Slovan coach Robert Doeme made several changes to the lines and was rewarded with numerous scoring chances in the first period and the go-ahead goal two minutes into the game when Canadian forward Brendan Ranford scored on a powerplay.

But Zvolen does not scare easily this season and managed to turn the game around thanks to Juraj Mikus' two goals. His teammate Milos Kelemen stretched the lead to 3-1 in the third period and although Bratislava tried to mount a comeback and Andrej Meszaros cut the deficit to 4-2 moments later, it was the visitors who would strike last.

Zvolen defenseman Oldrich Kotvan scored his first playoff goal in the final minute, punishing Slovan for pulling its goalie with an empty-netter.

Shortly after, when the final horn sounded, the match turned into a mass fight as the home team tried to punch away the built-up frustration.

"We should have won, we were clearly the better team tonight. Unfortunately, we didn't convert on our scoring chances, also hit a couple of goalposts, and saw the puck stop on the goal line at one point. The series remains open, we intend to win in Zvolen," declared Slovan coach Robert Doeme after the defeat. Enditem