Malek and Slavia Knot Series, Kärpät drops heartbreaker

By Bill Meltzer

Rebounding from a controversial 1-0 loss in the series opener, Slavia Prague went on the road to knot the Czech Extraliga finals at one game apiece by beating Pardubice by a 4-2 count. Coming off his 39 save performance in the opener, Slavia keeper Roman Malek once again kept the powerful Pardubice offense in tow. Although Pardubice found the twine twice, Malek made big saves when Slavia needed them. He turned back 32 of 34 shots. Slavia, staked to a 2-0 lead in the first period went on to win 4-2.

Things did not go nearly as well for Kärpät Oulu. Playing a must-win game, Kärpät lost a triple overtime 4-3 heartbreaker to Tappara in Tampere. Tappara is the new Finnish champion. Flyers prospect Joni Pitkänen did not dress in the playoffs for Kärpät.