Updates: 07.04.2021 20:59
Released: 07.04.2021, 20:30
Prague – The hockey players of Liberec beat Sparta 3: 2 in extra time in the third semifinal of the playoff extra league and in the series they have a promotion match for 3-0 on matches. Although the White Tigers lost to the winner of the basic part 0: 2, thanks to three power-up goals, they turned the result around. In the time of 62:53, the Slovak striker Dávid Gríger decided the flow of Radana Lenka’s shots.
Michal Birner contributed to the success of Severočechy with a goal and two assists, Lenc scored three assists. Liberec can complete its progress to the finals on Thursday, when it will host Sparta again from 5:00 p.m.
Sparta has significantly changed its line-up today. Instead of Salák, who stayed by his wife due to the birth, the seasonal number one Machovský returned to the goal area exactly one month later. For the first time in the playoffs, the experienced back Ondřej Němec also got the opportunity at the expense of Pavelka.
Coaches mixed Hořava and Jandač with the composition of all defenses and attacks, including the elite one, where Řepík and Horák took the place of Sobotka Rousek. Instead of Šmerha, Dvořáček returned from the lineup. The Liberec coach exchanged Průžek for Pavlík only in the fourth formation.
At the beginning of the match, Sukeľ threatened twice for the guests, Machovský covered Gríger’s chance after Najman’s pass during the renumbering. The Spartan goalkeeper managed another Gríger option and at 10:34 Sparta rejoiced. Dvořáček found a clever butt from behind the goal from the goal line on Zikmund’s right circle and he opened the score.
Vlach could answer, but he did not beat Machovský. In the 15th minute, during Kudrn’s suspension, Musil pushed the puck into the goal, but Sparta took the coach’s challenge and the goal did not pay, because the Liberec striker attacked the concrete of the Spartan goalkeeper with a hockey stick. In the 18th minute, Horák found a lone Řepík in front of the goal, but the captain of the Prague team defeated Kváč.
Liberec tried to push for a balance, but Dvořáček and Řepík had a better chance at the beginning of the second period. Kolmann took another opportunity with Rousek. At first he could make up for Musil’s weakness from escaping, but he failed with a backhand ending. On the contrary, Tomášek took advantage of the numerical advantage, to whom the puck from Birner bounced happily and overcame Kváč with a bluff into the forehand.
In 140 seconds, the White Tigers also rejoiced. When Polášek was eliminated, Birner hit the left circle. Kvača was then checked by Sobotka, Machovský dealt with Jelínková’s flow again. In the 39th minute, Liberec prevailed in the numerical advantage and during Jandus’ penalty he hit over the shading Gríger from the blue line Knot. He could turn the situation around before the Musil pause.
Sparta could return to the lead in the 45th minute, when Kolmann tripped the escaping Forman, but Řepík did not turn the penalty shot. His bluff in the forehand covered Kváč with his left concrete. Then there were no chances due to solid defenses and both goalkeepers reliably eliminated the shooting attempts. Gradually, they created the possibilities of the home Bulíř and then also Musil, who tried to score from a spin similar to the second duel in the series.
116 seconds before the end of the third period, Liberec had the advantage of a power play after Košťál’s throwing of the puck into the auditorium, but Sparta resisted. At 61:22, Košťálek went to pay again, this time for a foul, and Lenc’s attempt from the right circle ran in front of Machovský Gríger.
Voices of coaches after the match:
Patrik Augusta (Liberec): “At 0: 2, we didn’t lower our heads against such a strong opponent and we continued to work hard. Thanks to well-matched power-ups, we finally managed the match. The turn will definitely help us mentally and regenerate better. “Until we win the fourth time, it’s not the end of the series.”
Miloslav Hořava (Sparta): “We played a very good match, probably our best in the series. We led 2-0 in the middle of the match, but then it occurred to me that we changed the game a bit and started throwing the pucks unnecessarily. We also did a few unnecessary fouls and then didn’t play well weakened “We collected all three goals in them, and unfortunately it cost us a match. Matěj Machovský gave an excellent performance and held the team. I feel the strength from the team to fight for it and turn the series around.”
White Tigers Liberec – HC Sparta Prague 3: 2 in prod. (0: 1, 2: 1, 0: 0 – 1: 0)
Goals and recordings: 28. Birner (Knot, Lenc), 39. Knot (Lenc, Birner), 63. Gríger (Lenc, Birner) – 11. Zikmund (Dvořáček, Polášek), 26. Tomášek. Judges: Jeřábek, Šindel – Gerát, Hynek. Exclusion: 3: 7, in addition P. Jelínek (Liberec) 10 min. Utilization: 3: 1. No spectators. Series status: 3: 0.
Liberec: Kváča – Knot, Vitásek, Kolmann, Rosandič, T. Hanousek, Derner, T. Havlín – Lenc, A. Musil, Birner – Bulíř, Gríger, A. Najman – D. Špaček, P. Jelínek, J. Vlach – Průžek, J. Sir, Rychlovsky. Coach: P. Augusta.
Sparta: Machovsky – Kostalek, Nemecek, M. Jandus, Polasek, O. Nemec, Tomas Dvorak, Jurcina – Repik, R. Horak, Rousek – Tomasek, M. Sukel, Sobotka – M. Forman, Pech, A. Kudrna – Dvoracek, Zikmund , Buchtele. Coaches: Hořava and Jandač.