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Bern and Kloten spring playoff surprises

Davos goalie Lars Weibel was an unexpectedly busy man on Thursday


Switzerland's ice hockey playoffs have got underway with Bern producing the biggest surprise of the opening round.

The team from the Swiss capital romped to an 8-3 away win in Davos on Thursday to take a 1-0 lead in their best of seven quarter-final encounter. The middle period proved crucial with Bern finding the net no less than six times.

Five of those goals were scored at a rate of almost one a minute in a breathtaking 312-second display which set a new playoff record. To cap Davos's embarrassment, Bern's man of the match was defender Martin Steinegger who managed to grab the first hat-trick of his career.

Kloten were the night's other unexpected winners, with the team from canton Zurich winning 6-2 in Zug. Kloten's performance ended an impressive run by the central Swiss team, who had won their last nine matches on home ice.

The Zurich Lions and Lugano both won their opening playoff matches but the two favourites for the playoff finals found things a little tougher than many had expected.

Lugano scraped a 2-1 win against a Fribourg side who only managed to reach the playoffs on the last day of the regular season. Powerplay proved decisive for Jim Koleff's team, who had a one-man advantage for both of their goals.

Fribourg had four powerplay opportunities during the match but were unable to score a single goal in that time.

The Zurich Lions meanwhile had to wait until the 45th minute of their match against Rapperswil before they could take the lead. After coming from behind twice to level the score at 2-2, the defending champions finally took control with just quarter of an hour to play.

Two goals in 64 seconds from Mark Streit and Dan Hodgson gave the Lions a decisive 4-2 lead. In the dying seconds of the match Michel Zeiter fired into an empty Rapperswil goal to complete a scoreline that flattered the Zurich side.

Thursday's losers won't have too long to plot their revenge. The second round of the quarter-finals take place on Saturday.

swissinfo with agencies


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