Bystrica draws close to leading Bratislava in Slovak ice hockey league

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BRATISLAVA, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- December 6 is the day when children in Slovakia wake up in the morning and find gifts in their boots brought during the night by Saint Nicholas, and ice-hockey fans got their treats in the 29th round of the Slovak premier league Tipsport Liga, as well.

League leader Slovan Bratislava visited second-ranked Banska Bystrica and both teams together played an attractive match on Friday.

Both teams scored one power-play goal in regulation and just when the overtime was heading for a shootout, the home team's Canadian-born forward Jordan Hickmott became the hero of the night, scoring the game-winner for Banska Bystrica and helping the last season's champions win their fifth consecutive match.

The win moved Bystrica closer to the leaders with a 3 points gap. Banska Bystrica's coach Dan Ceman was able to celebrate his 100th game leading this team with a win.

Third-ranked Kosice is also on a roll, winning its fifth straight game by defeating the lately struggling Zvolen 4-1. The visitors opened the score with the hope of cutting their negative series of three defeats but Kosice answered moments later with two goals within one minute and added two more in the final period to easily seal the deal.

Poprad is the last of the trio of currently unstoppable squads in the league, winning its sixth consecutive match. The home team's Czech-born goalie Tomas Vosvrda experienced his first shutout of the season after Poprad defeated Detva 3-0, keeping a single point behind the fifth-ranked Trencin in the standings.

A thrilling 10-goal performance was staged in Trencin. The home team totally crushed Budapest, one of the two Hungarian teams playing in the Slovak league, 8-2. Trencin served the visitors their fifth defeat in the last six matches and cut the deficit to fifth-ranked Zvolen to a single point. Trencin's Canadian forward Brandon Alderson ended the high-scoring night with a coveted hat-trick.

The other Hungarian team Miskolc managed to end its four-game losing streak in Michalovce, beating the home team 6-3 thanks to a strong series of five consecutive goals. Both David Rodman and Martin St. Pierre scored twice for Miskolc and also added one assist each. Miskolc now trails the seventh-ranked Michalovce by a single point.

Elsewhere, it was Nitra's fourth consecutive match in which it managed to gain points, this time by defeating the penultimate team of the league Nove Zamky 2-1. Enditem

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