Slovakian Championship Final Begins

Hc_kosice_logo_medium   vs.   Skp_poprad_logo_medium

Logos via upload.wikimedia.org (Common Usage)

HC Kosice vs. HK SKP Poprad

Comparison
HC Kosice HK Poprad
Record (Reg.) 38-10-3-6 (137 pts) 30-7-7-13 (111 pts)
QF Record 3-1-0-1 vs. HK Nitra 4-0-1-1 vs. HK 36 Skalica
SF Record 3-1-0-0 vs. Dukla Trencin 3-1-1-2 vs. HC 05 Ban. Bystrica
GF/GA (comb) 251 : 112 (+139) 213 : 156 (+57)
Shots/Game (comb) 38.2 / 27.4 (+10.8 s/g) 35.3 / 28.3 (+7.0 s/g)
PP (comb) 15.47% (6th) 19.03% (2nd)
PK (comb) 89.10% (1st) 88.50% (2nd)
Scoring leader (Reg) Peter Bartos (23+30=53) Arne Krotak (20+38=58)
Scoring leader (Po) Miroslav Zalesak (6+6=12) Martin Kulha (7+5=12)
Top d-man (Reg Pts) Jan Tabacek (6+30=36) Radoslav Suchy (3+26=29)
Goalie SV% (comb) Julius Hudacek (93.66%) Miroslav Lipovsky (91.01%)

Let's hope we have a series.  HC Kosice set a league record with a 137 point regular season, and have gone 8-1 en route to the Final.  HK Poprad, who finished second in the league despite being 26 points behind, had a tougher playoff run, including a low scoring first round.  I guess we'll see if that tougher route pays off in the Final or not, as Poprad has been used to playing low scoring, tight games while HC Kosice has opened each series with massive home wins and has yet to lose on their home ice.  And it's not just that Kosice has rolled from the start of the season until now...  they also went out and added the league's top scorer in Miroslav Zalesak at the transfer deadline and signed him to a three year contract extension.  

So Kosice is outshooting their opponents by a significant margin, and outscoring them by even more, all while having the top ranked defensive unit, top save percentage, and a middle of the road power play.  Poprad is in tough, especially since they are playing with their backup goalie in Lipovsky, as their starter Marcel Melichercik was injured in the first round.  

The Best of 7 Series begins today, and follows a 2-2-1-1-1 format.  10 minutes of overtime and then a shootout (IIHF rules) decide tie games, hence the funky W-OTW-OTL-L records in the stats.  Another note for the stats is that I've only counted regulation goals for and against, but the shots include OT and any attributed in shootouts (I believe the winning team gets one shot for their winning attempt, which also counts to the individual player's and goalie totals, again different from the NHL).  

Schedule (all games at 6:00 PM CET/1:00 PM EST):  

  1. 3/30 @ Kosice 
  2. 3/31 @ Kosice
  3. 4/3 @ Poprad
  4. 4/4 @ Poprad
  5. 4/7 @ Kosice (if necessary)
  6. 4/9 @ Poprad (if necessary)
  7. 4/11 @ Kosice (if necessary)

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