Approximately 3,500 hockey fans packed Bratislava's Ondrej Nepela Winter Stadium expecting to enjoy an exhibition match of current NHL hockey stars residing on the terriroty of the former Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. However, with no fore-warning or explanation, the Soviet all-star team failed to show and the home side was forced to put together a hastily-organised squad consisting of three Russians who play for the Slovan Bratislava team and other players from the Russian "Dinamo Voronez" hockey club, which is currently training in Slovakia.
Despite the Soviet absence, fans were treated to an entertaining match featuring seven current NHL stars including Czechs Jaromir Jágr, Martin Straka and Slovaks Marian Hossa, Miroslav Šatan, Jozef Štumpel, Žigmund Pálffy and Pavol Demitra. Predictably, the Czechoslovak squad won 6 to 3 on the strength of two goals by Šatan, the 1999 leading scorer for the Stanley Cup finalist Buffalo Sabres.
The exhibition also featured a match between the "old boys" of the two former countries, which again saw the Czechoslovak side notch a 2 to 1 victory. Former stars from the 60's, 70's and 80's took the ice in the exhibition, including three-time Olympic gold-medal winner Alexander Ragulin of Russia and Dárius Rusnák, Vincent Lukáč and Igor Liba - Slovak members of the 1985 world championship team from Czechoslovakia.
Superliga battle in Bratislava
First place Slovan will host inter-city rival ASK Inter in the fourth round of the Slovak Football Superliga on Saturday, August 14 at Slovnaft Stadium. Inter currently holds down 8th place in the 16 team league and faces a strong foe in first place Slovan. Slovan plays at Nitra on August 21, while Inter will square off against FC Košice at home on the same day.
Although the new stands at Petržalka's home field have not yet been completed, they will host ŽTS Dubnica on Sunday, August 15. Petržalka is winless and in 14th place after a disappointing beginning, which has seen them outscored four goals to one in three games. Petržalka will travel to Senec on August 21 to play the surprise team of the young season. Senec, playing in Superliga action for the first time in its history, is tied for first with three other teams.