Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Slovak Extraleague Holds Their Own Against NHL

Since you know I am a Slovak culture enthusiast and often take a look at the sporting levels. The Slovak Extraliga is the top pro league in Slovakia to which one of my fantasies was always that the NHL would one day engage in exhibition games with the Slovak Extraliga. Today, this has come true.

I have heard a lot of criticism about the professional hockey leagues in Europe and their comparison to the level of play in the National Hockey League. The consensus is that the NHL is the top elite league where the best hockey players in the world go to play. But hockey fans and bloggers often comment about the drama and action of European leagues as they continue to gain notable popularity. But the Slovak Extraliga is not on the very top of premier leagues, only to be overshadowed by the Russian KHL, the Swedes and the Finish leagues.

HC Slovan Bratislava is the defending Slovak Extraliga back-to-back champs, so this would make it a natural first choice to build a relationship of exhibitions with. So, in order for the American hockey ambassadors to get used to the international ice sizes, Tampa Bay is burdened with the task of challenging other representatives in this unique form of hockey diplomacy.
Evgeny Artyukhin made it 1-0 for the Lightning in the first period before Slovan tied the score when Marek Uram got a goal in the second. Martin Kulha scored a power-play goal in the third and Lecavalier evened the score for the Lightning on a two-man advantage, sending the game into overtime.
For this result to happen, only one conclusion could be seen. I think that the Slovak Extraliga talent to take the Lighting as far as they did only signifies the growing strength of the team and perhaps put the League on the international conscious.

[Via: NHL.com]
Post a Comment