BRATISLAVA – With top-ranked Nove Zamky and Nitra losing their Sunday fixtures, Poprad grabbed the opportunity to climb on top of the rankings of the Slovak ice-hockey premiership Tipos Extraliga.
Poprad are the new leaders after tying Nove Zamky with 22 points but boasting a better score.
The veteran forward Lukas Handlovsky led “the Chamois” to a clear 4-1 triumph over Slovan Bratislava with two goals, repeating the team’s successful strategy from the previous rounds by scoring early goals and putting the opponent under pressure. The best scorer of the current Tipos Extraliga season Marcel Hascak (HK Poprad) added one goal to his 15-piece collection so far.
The league leaders Nove Zamky were intent on keeping their great away-streak going in the 13th round (earning at least a point on every away game so far) of the 2020-21 season but fifth-ranked Zvolen were not having it and scored two early goals to establish home dominance. Two more unanswered goals in the second period ultimately decided who the winners were going to be.
Zvolen’s Swedish goalie Robin Rahm was close to ending the night with his first shutout of the season but Nove Zamky’s finish forward robbed him of this feat early in the final period – 5-1 for Zvolen in the end.
After winning seven straight games, Nitra lost their second in a row on Sunday, succumbing to the only Hungarian team playing in the Slovak league, Miskolc, 3-2. The home team is getting back on its feet, determined to leave the bottom sector of the rankings behind and the victory over Nitra makes it three in a row now.