Partizan keeps Slohokej title

Partizan keeps Slohokej title

29 Feb 2012 | Vicko Ivanković

Serbian team confirm last year title defeating again Olimpija. With the future of Slohokej uncertain, this could be the last title

Serbian club HK Partizan from Blegrade is winner of Slohokej league for the second consecutive season. In the final best of five series they beat HK Olimpija from Ljubljana 3-2. Prior to the final Partizan beat HDD Bled with 2-0 in wins in quarterfinals and HK Triglav with the same result in the semifinals. In the regular season they finished on second place.

On the other side, Slovene club HK Olimpija, farm team of Tilia Olimpija of EBEL, finished regular season on fourth place. In the quarterfinals they beat Croatian team KHL Mladost from Zagreb with 2-0 in series. In the semifinals they made big upset and beat first seeded team after reguar season HDK Maribor with easy 2-0 in series.

Regular season started with 8 teams and it was projected that every team plays 27 rounds. Few weeks before the end of regular season HD mladi Jesenice folded the competition after they were hit with financial difficulties. All their games were deleted which resulted in some changes in the standings and playoff format. All seven teams entered playoffs, first seeded HDK Maribor went directly in the semifinals while remaining six teams played for other three spots in the semifinals.

In those games Partizan beat Bled 2-0. Olimpija and Triglav entered semifinals also with clear 2-0 win in the series against Mladost and Slavija. Semifinals were also very much straight - Olimpija beat Maribor 2-0 and Partizan beat Triglav with the same result. In the battle for third place Triglav beat Maribor with 2-1 in series after they lost the game one.

Final series were very interesting. Partizan entered the playoffs strenthened it's roster with two new imports; Slovak forward Martin Havliček and American defender Joshua Mizerek. Along with some of best Serbian players and three strong Slovenian players Partizan was favorite against young Olimpija team. But it wasn't so easy. In first game in Belgrade Partizan won 4-2 after they dominated the whole game. Game two was played in Ljubljana and Olimpija won it 1-0 after very hard battle in which their goaltender Matic Boh had a shutout. Third game in Belgrade was again very interesting with outcome in favor of Serbian team, 4-2. Olimpija played it's best hockey in next game on their home ice in which they won 5-2. Last and deciding game of series was played in Belgrade in Ice hall Pionir in front of 2000 people which was this season league record. Partizan was much better team and celebrated the 6-1 victory which made them Slohokej champions for the second straight season. The game will be remembered for massive fight between players and shameful behavior of home fans who threw seats on the ice.

This was probably the last season of Slohokej league, at least with this name. Slovenian federation terminated contract with Slohokej company which organized the competition in few last seasons and now they will organize it themselves. After agreement with Hungarian federation it's possible that two federations will organize joint competition with clubs from MOL and Slohokej league. It's still unsure is that league going to be formed and which teams would play in it. In next few months it will be known in which competition clubs from Slohokej league will play next season.
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