Košice waited for the semifinal 2208 days. Top class hockey, coach – Extraliga – Hockey – Sports

After the quarterfinals, coaches from Košice and Michalovce agreed that the six-match series offered top-class hockey.

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The hockey players from Košice are celebrating advancing to the semifinals.

The people of Michalovka reduced it from 0: 3 to 2: 3, but the winning goal of Košice captain Michal Chovan in the extension of the 6th match frustrated their dreams of a sensational turnaround.

“Košice deserved to advance to the semifinals,” said HK Dukla Ingema Michalovce coach Tomek Valtonen. According to paper assumptions, the historically first series in the decommissioning site between Michalovce and Košice was to be balanced.

Dukla placed 4th on the basic part with 88 points, Košice residents were 6 points behind the fifth place.

In the position of a slight favorite were the people of Michalovce, who had the first two matches on the home ice, but there were voices from their camp that the favorites were the people of Košice, whose celebration of the centenary is to succeed.

Ceman’s charges won the first three games of the series (outside 4: 1 and 3: 1, home 2: 1 pp) and were on the best path to a smooth process.

The unfortunate own goal from the Colton Saucerman hockey stick during the signaled penalty in the 4th match (at 1: 0) took away their confidence and they lost 2: 6 at home.

The Michalovce came to life and then managed the fifth match at home after a 4: 1 victory. However, in the end they did not become the second team to turn the series from 0: 3 in the history of the Slovak extra league. (The first and still the only one is HK Dukla Trenčín, who even managed to do it twice).

Pavel Regend’s fifth goal in the series sent them to the lead in the 6th match 1: 0, but in the end it was their last accurate hit of the season. Vadim Pereskokov equalized in the 3rd period and Chovan subsequently decided on Košice’s victory and promotion.

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“It was an incredible and dramatic series. We saw hockey of the highest class, absolute details were decisive in the matches. It was a big fight. All players and members of the implementation teams deserve my respect, “said Košice coach Ceman.

At the beginning of March, he replaced Finn Kalle Kaskinen, and after a quarter-final promotion, he has a balance of 8 victories and 3 losses with Košice.

For the captain of the Košice team Michal Chovan, the promotion goal was the first accurate hit in the playoffs after 23 matches. Before that, he last scored in the HKM Zvolen jersey in the 2017/2018 season.

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“Breeds” often fought with himself, but today he managed to score an amazing goal, “Ceman remarked and did not forget about goalkeeper Andrej Košarišťan.

He entered all 6 quarter-final matches, in which he achieved a 94.09-percent success rate and an average of 2.08 goals collected per match.

These numbers would have been better if he had not collected 5 goals in the 4th match in the 4th match, and was subsequently replaced by extra-league debutant Patrik Jurčák.

“Basket” caught the first two matches very well. Then he also had weak moments, but in the 6th match he presented himself with an incredible performance. He also contributed to a great series, “said Dan Ceman.

For HC Košice, this is the first advance to the semifinals since the 2015/2016 season. In it, they fought their way among the top four through MHC Martin, and in the fight for the finals they subsequently failed in Banská Bystrica.

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In the next three years, they were “ordered” in the quarterfinals – they were gradually eliminated by Martin, Banská Bystrica and Poprad. In the year 2019/2020, the playoffs did not play after the prematurely ended season, and in the 2020/2021 season, the “steelmakers” were eliminated in the preliminary round of the playoffs with Nové Zámky. They reached the semifinals exactly after 2208 days.

Ceman’s counterpart Tomek Valtonen was also proud of his players. In the last year 2020/2021, he brought Michalovce to the semifinals, this time his team’s journey ended earlier.

Photo: TASR, Roman Hanc

SR Hockey TEL 1/2 1. Michalovce Poprad Valtonen Dukly Michalovce’s coach Tomek Valtonen has to leave the field.

“It was a really good series. Košice deserved to advance, but I’m proud of my team. I’m also proud that we made it to the sixth match.

It was balanced, but Košice deserved a victory. We have to accept the result and congratulate the opponent on the way forward, “he said.

For Michalovce, the third extra-league season ended in Saturday’s defeat in Košice. The first, 2019/2020, was terminated prematurely due to the pandemic. In the second Michalovce they took 3rd place, when they were not enough for Poprad in the semifinals.

Their final placement in the year 2021/2022 is not definitively known and depends on the result of the 7th match between Nitra and Poprad, which is scheduled for Monday. In the case of the Nitra victory, Michalovce will occupy the final 5th place, otherwise they will move to 6th place in the final ranking.

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Source: Pravda – Šport – Futbal – Hokej by hokej.pravda.sk.

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