Monday, 2 April 2012

Kometa advance to Extraliga final.

(Written for

Three years ago, Kometa Brno were facing off against HC Slovan Ústečtí Lvi in the final of the 1.liga. Now, after finishing two seasons in the relegation playoffs, Kometa are now playing in the Extraliga final after defeating Plzeň 7-2 in Game 5, and 4-1 in the series.

Kometa players mob Trvaj at the buzzer.
Tomáš Divíšek led the charge for the road side, scoring four points (2+2) in Kometa’s historic victory. He opened the scoring just 65 seconds into the game, pouncing on a rebound spilled by Marek Mazanec. Kometa would go on to score two more goals in the opening four minutes, chasing Mazanec from the game after he made just four saves on seven shots. Adam Svoboda played in relief, making 22 saves.
Kometa had a 3-1 lead going into the second period, but they ran into penalty trouble early in the frame, and were forced to kill a two minute 5 on 3 powerplay. However, 37 year old netminder Jiří Trvaj stood tall, making a number of stops. He made 43 in total. Jozef Kováčik’s disputed goal in the 39th minute was the only marker in the middle stanza.

The third period began with Jiří Hanzlík cutting Kometa’s lead to two goals, but from there on in it was the Kometa show. They scored three times in the third period, as Tomáš Svoboda added to his first period goal, Radek Dlouhy scored his fifth of the playoffs and Divíšek closed the scoring in the 53rd minute, stretching his playoff points lead.

Is it the end of the road for Martin Straka?
Photo: Milan Podpera
Kometa forward Radek Dlouhy spoke after the game, and was rather pragmatic in his approach.  “We are very pleased that we won it today, which has given us more time to recover, to come together and gain strength for the final.” Speaking after the game, Plzeň coach Marian Jelínek rued his teams luck in the opening games of the series, musing; “We could have won the first three games of the series, unfortunately, the opponent stole them. The fourth match in Brno was the only one where we were truly better. I'm happy we have won the bronze medal. There is some disappointment, but this season was not bad at all.”

Brno will now advance to play the winner of the Pardubice-Vitkovice series, which enters its sixth game on Tuesday, with Pardubice favourites to advance.

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