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Ambri go top as Lugano crash to earth

Ambri's Alain Demuth looks for a way past Chur goalie Stephan Tobias


Ambri-Piotta have climbed to the top of the Swiss ice hockey league following an unexpectedly tough victory over bottom side Chur.

Having lost just one of their opening seven matches, the team from canton Ticino made a terrible start to Tuesday's match, conceding three goals in the first 12 minutes.

Two goals from 22-year-old forward Michael Liniger either side of the first break pulled Ambri back into contention, but a fourth Chur goal towards the end of the second period raised the visitors' hopes of pulling off what would have been only their second win of the season.

Ambri began the third period in frantic fashion, though, getting themselves back on level terms with goals from Krister Cantoni and new Czech signing Tomas Vlasak.

With the scores tied at 4-4, the match went into overtime, but it took just two more minutes for Liniger to grab his third goal of the night and hand Ambri a shaky but significant victory.

Lugano crushed

Ambri's satisfaction will certainly have increased after hearing the result of their Ticinese rivals and former league leaders Lugano. Like Ambri, Lugano had gone into the latest round of matches with just one defeat all season. But on Tuesday they suffered the most dramatic of losses - losing 7-0 away to Davos.

Canadian forward Lonny Bohonos grabbed two goals and an assist in a match that marked Lugano's biggest league defeat in almost eight years.

Lions draw

The Zurich Lions meanwhile were able to improve only slightly on the bad run of form that had seen them lose their three previous matches. The defending champions managed at least to take a point back to Zurich after holding Rapperswil to a 4-4 draw but it wasn't enough to stop the Lions slumping to second bottom place.

Lausanne best of the west

Climbing above them were Lausanne who celebrated a 4-3 win over their west Switzerland rivals Fribourg. In front of a sell-out crowd at the Malley stadium, Philipp Orlandi scored the winning goal with just four minutes of regular time remaining, to complete the newly-promoted side's first win in six matches.

Derby joy for Langnau

Local pride was also at stake in Langnau where the home side took on their fierce rivals from Bern. Two Langnau goals in the space of 23 second period minutes proved decisive with the Tigers going on to win the 75th Bernese derby 3-1.

Unlike in Lausanne, though, the midweek timing of the match appeared to affect ticket sales. With less than 6,000 spectators turning out, Tuesday's game was only the second Bernese derby in the past 20 years not to sell out.

Flyers flop

In the last game of the night, the Kloten Flyers had their wings clipped by Zug who took full advantage of the home team's defensive problems to record a 3-2 away win.

With injury and illness depriving Kloten of four regular defensemen, the team were unable to deal with a powerful performance by ex-Kloten forward Chris Tancill, who scored two of Zug's goals, including the winner.

swissinfo with agencies


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