Friday night in the Extraliga saw few surprises, as both Sparta Praha and HC Plzeň won, defeating HC Mountfield and Slavia Praha respectively. Going into the final few gamedays before the playoffs, Sparta have an almost unassailable seven point lead at the top of the Extraliga standings, and will, barring a drastic turn in form, head into the playoffs as the number one seed.
Sparta Praha 4 - 2 HC Mountfield
|Troy Milam celebrating his goal for Sparta|
Photo: Jan Benes
Plzeň 5 - 2 Slavia Praha
|Adam Svoboda playing the puck|
Photo: Milan Podpera
Pardubice 5 - 1 Kometa Brno
Pardubice kept up the height on the top two with a solid victory on home ice against an inconsistent Kometa side. Pardubice controlled the game from the early going, however, they had lady luck on their side for their first goal, as Jan Kolář's centering pass took an unfortunate bounce and trickled through unwitting Finnish goalie Sasu Hovi's five hole. Pardubice doubled their advantage before the end of the first period, as Lukáš Radil tipped Vaclav Kočí's point shot past Hovi. Kometa couldn't get a break, and in the second period they were once again undone by bad fortune, as Jan Buchtele's goal came courtesy of a lucky deflection off of Hovi and his defenceman. Kometa finally got on the board in the 47th minute as Leoš Čermák beat Dušan Salfický from a tight angle, showing that hard work near the net pays off, but that was all that the travelling Kometa support would get to cheer, as Pardubice scored twice in the remaining minutes, as Pardubice's other Jan Kolář, and Aleš Píša scored to give Pardubice the comfortable three points.
Liberec 4 - 1 Zlín
Liberec strengthened their grip on fifth place with a solid home win against fellow playoff contenders Zlín. The white tigers scored twice in the opening two periods to seal the three points, taking a 2-0 lead into the first intermission through goals by Jaroslav Kudrna and Petr Nedvěd. Liberec were 3-0 up just over a minute into the third as Tomáš Urban fired home, but Zlin started to show some fight, and finally got the goal that they deserved at the halfway mark, as Bedřich Köhler beat Marek Pinc in the Liberec goal for the only time on the night. Liberec got their fourth and final goal under a minute later though, killing any of Zlin's momentum as Tomáš Klimenta got a goal to go with his two assists to give the forward a three point night.
Kladno 4 - 3 Třinec (Shootout)
A thriller in Kladno saw the home side come away with a vital two points in their quest to avoid the relegation places. Kladno came from behind twice in the game to send it to a shootout. Martin Látal scored the game tying goal with a little over five minutes left in the third period, and this seemed to give Kladno the confidence they needed, and an accomplished performance by Jan Chábera in the Kladno goal gave them the victory, the Czech shot-stopper making 40 saves. Canadian defenceman Jason Lepine scored the shootout winner.
Litvinov 2 - 3 Mlada Boleslav (Shootout)
The bottom of the table clash went to a shootout as well, and it was the last placed team, Mlada Boleslav who came away with two points in a rather dull game. It started so well, as Juraj Majdan and Roman Tomas scored in the opening three minutes to leave the score at 1-1, but it was a long wait until the 55th minute for the games next goal, as Martin Frolik scored with 54 minutes on the clock to give Litvinov the lead. However, Mlada Boleslav managed to reply in under 90 seconds, and Roman Tomas scored his second of the night for Mlada to tie the game up and send it to a shootout. David Vrbata scored the winning penalty shot for Mlada Boleslav, who now sit just one point behind Karlovy Vary.