The hockey players of Kladno and Jihlava managed the semi-final battle of the first league playoffs in the shortest possible time, and the final fight for the right to participate in the next year’s extra league awaits them.
The Knights, who are trying to return to the elite after a year, won in Ostrava nad Porubou 4: 3 in overtime. From the second period they played without the forty-nine-year-old owner Jaromír Jágr, but at 65:59 another star, Tomáš Plekanec, decided. Jihlava also dominated the series 4: 0 in the match after the victory in Vsetín 4: 1.
Poruba led against the best team of the basic part in the fourth duel, but lost it. With the exclusion of Ondřej Machala, defender Lukáš Kozák exchanged the puck with Šimon Szathmáry and overtook Andrej Košarišťan from the position behind the right circle. At 7:27 he settled Machala after Jágr’s assistance. In the 16th minute, Marek Račuk reversed the development: he surrounded the goal and overcame Frederik Foltán with a backhand shot.
From the second third, Jágr was already missing in the Kladno group, he remained in the arsenal on the inverter. While in the middle act the goal was not scored, after nine seconds the third home team equalized. Tomáš Voráček pushed Tomáš Jáchym out with a long pass, he found Markus Korkiakoski free and the Finnish striker from the left circle shot through the Kladno goalkeeper.
In 73 seconds, however, Tomáš Pitule secured the Knights the lead of the flowing shot of Stěpan Zacharčuk again. In the 54th minute, the Ostrava team evened the move for the third time thanks to a shot by Radek Pořízek. In the setting, Kladno was moved to the finals by Captain Plekanec, who knocked the puck into the open goal after Jakub Suchánek’s shot into the right post.
Although Jihlava played 1: 3 in the quarterfinals with Litoměřice, but thanks to seven wins in 13 days, the participant in the extra league from 2017/18 is already in the finals. Dukla gained the lead for the first time in the 14th minute, when Tomáš Harbakus lost Jakub Málek from the blue line.
At 22:51, the Wallachians rejoiced in the equalization, when Maxim Žukov was thrown by the throwing of defender Michal Hryciow over the shielding players. In the middle of the second part, however, with the exclusion of Adam Gajarský, Daniel Kolář sent Jihlava back into the lead with a shot from the blue line. In the 52nd minute, they got alone in front of Málka Čachotský with Lichance, who ended the exchange of the puck in the open goal. During the power play, Tomáš Havránek completed the result a second before the end.
The final series will begin on Saturday, April 17, on the ice of Kladno.