HKM Zvolen one step away from Slovakia’s ice hockey crown

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BRATISLAVA, May 4 (Xinhua) — HKM Zvolen is one victory away from grabbing the Slovak Tipos Extraliga ice-hockey championship title, but its playoff finals rival HK Poprad produced an offense-laden 7-4 victory in Game 4 on Tuesday to put some drama into the series, cutting the deficit to 1-3 thanks to a strong second period.

HKM Zvolen was on a mission to put away the finals with a fourth consecutive victory and opened the score late in the first period on a 5-on-3 powerplay by the hands of the OT hero of Game 3, T.J. Melancon.

The home team pushed itself to do something about the lopsided series thanks to a superb four-goal performance in the second period. The league’s most productive player Marcel Hascak sounded the attack horn with two consecutive goals. Zvolen’s forward Marek Viedensky tied the game at 2-2 moments later, but Poprad’s players put the home team ahead by two again, pushing the score to 4-2.

The third period continued in the same high-scoring manner as the second. Peter Bjaloncik stretched Poprad’s lead to 5-2 on a redirect five minutes in, but Zvolen tried to rally in the 15th minute with two quick goals, cutting the deficit to a promising 4-5.

But only 15 seconds after Viedensky’s second goal of the night, Poprad’s Canadian forward James Livingston calmed his teammates down after scoring from close range, making it 6-4. Subsequently, the visitors went all-in and pulled the goalie only to concede an empty-netter that set the final score to 7-4 for Poprad. Enditem

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