Dukla Michalovce takes 2-0 lead in semifinal series against HK Poprad after shootout

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BRATISLAVA, April 16 (Xinhua) — An exceptionally thrilling shootout decided the second semifinal game of the Slovak ice hockey premiership Tipos Extraliga playoffs between HK Dukla Michalovce and HK Poprad on Friday.

The home team’s forward Pavol Regenda put an end to the nail-biting penalty shootout in the 9th round, securing the 3-2 victory for Michalovce and grabbing a 2-0 lead in the evenly matched series.

After turning game one around with three goals in quick succession in the final period on Thursday, HK Dukla Michalovce was enjoying a morale boost going into the second match-up against the series-favorite HK Poprad. The home team scored the go-ahead goal five minutes into game two but Poprad evened things up two minutes later on a powerplay, staying within striking distance.

Michalovce succeeded again seven minutes into the second period when Peter Galambos redirected Jan Tavoda’s shot, making it 2-1. The home team was starting to taste victory as none of the teams managed to get on the scoreboard thanks to great performances by both goalies, but 36 seconds before the end of regulation time, Poprad’s seasoned Dutch defenseman and former Michalovce player Mike Dahlhuisen scored his first playoff goal and pushed the game into overtime.

Despite several promising opportunities on both sides of the ice, the overtime did not produce a winner and a penalty shootout had to commence. The first batch of attempts resulted in a draw as both teams managed to convert on three out of five. Subsequently, three more unsuccessful rounds followed until Regenda became the hero of the day, scoring during the unusual 9th round and sealing the 3-2 victory in the process. Enditem

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