The 25th Continental Cup goes to Nitra

The 25th Continental Cup goes to Nitra

Davide Tuniz15 Jan 2023Davide Tuniz»

HK Nitra win a thrilling game against brave Cardiff Devils and bring back the silver plate in Slovakia after 14 years


The 25th edition of Continental Cup goes to Slovakia: after 14 years from the victory of HK Martin, now the silver plate lands in Nitra. In the last game the Antonin Stavjana troop wins against a brave Cardiff Devils that tried until the last second to spoil the Slovak party

Nitra, still without Latvian forward Buncis, has to scratch from the line-up also captain Miroslav Pupak, injured in the last game against Angers. Roster complete for Cardiff, supported by a good number of fans.

Nitra begins the game more aggressive, calling Devils goalie Kozun to a pad save after 8 seconds. But the first real chance is for Cardiff after 3 minutes when Nitra goalie Kasik made an awful mess with the puck, redeeming with a great save on Joey Martin. Before the end of the period, around minute 15’ Nitra lethally bite twice:  at 14:36 opens the score with a classy shot of Filip Krivosik, finding accurately the right angle to beat Kozun and at 15:53 Jakub Lacka netting a pass from Juraj Pekarcik with a precise shot in the upper corner with no chance for Kozun. Cardiff is feeling the shot, suffering the third goal before the siren, scored by Marek Tverdon rebounding a shot originally blocked by a defender

After 3 minutes in the central period Josh Brittain has the chance to open the score for Devils but his shot is well deflected by Kasik. Cardiff fells the frustration and a naïve penalty to Josh Brittian for roughing left his team in a double inferiority: the Welsh PK worked well. Around minute 32 Devils has three consecutive chances on power play but Kasik is always reactive. Slovak goalie can’t do anything one minute after when Cole Sanford get into Nitra defense netting the first gaol for Welsh team. The goal energizes the team and the fans: Devils produce two another chances with Justin Crandall, well rebounded by Kasik

The last period begins with a constant pressure of Cardiff, resulted in the second goal, scored by Trevor Cox with a beautiful personal move, deking the goalie. As in the previous game, Nitra seems to have a lack of concentration in the last period. At 52:42 Reid Duke received a match penalty for a kneeing left his team to play in inferiority for the last five minutes. Devils produce the maximum effort, but Nitra PK is superb in controlling the attempts of Welsh team. Desperately Cardiff pulls the goalie for the last assault, but Libor Kasik shut the door giving his team the deserved victory

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