Langnau climb but Lions slip up
Saturday's Swiss ice hockey action saw the Zurich Lions' lead at the top of the league shrink to just two points. At the other end of the table Langnau eased their relegation fears slightly with a 5-2 win over Fribourg.
The Lions were on the receiving end of a remarkable recovery by Rapperswil. With 18 minutes of play remaining the defending champions held a 3-1 lead.
But the home side fired back with four goals in the space of five minutes to end a six match losing streak. Rapperswil's first home win over the Lions in almost three years was also the Zurich club's third away defeat in a row.
In-form Lugano kept up the pressure on Zurich with a 5-1 win over bottom side La Chaux-de-Fonds. The Ticinese side's win was far less inevitable than the scoreline suggests, though, with four of their goals coming in the final period.
The battle for positions below Zurich and Lugano became even tighter after fourth-placed Zug beat third-placed Davos 5-3. The result, which came courtesy of an André Rötheli hat-trick, leaves the two sides level on points.
Davos have yet to win in the league since their New Year's Eve triumph in the international Spengler Cup tournament.
Langnau's victory over fellow-strugglers Fribourg was played out in front of a sell-out Ilfishalle stadium. Like Lugano, Langnau left it late before settling the supporters' nerves, scoring three goals without reply in the final third.
Ambri were the most immediate victims of Langnau's success, Pierre Pagé's men slipping below the play-out line after losing 5-2 away to Bern. All seven goals were scored in the second period.
Second bottom Chur were unlucky losers in the night's other match, going down 3-2 at home to Kloten. Apparently heading towards a much-needed 2-1 win, the team from Graubünden conceded an equalising goal in the very last second of regular time.
With the game heading automatically into overtime, Chur seemed to have at least earned a draw when Andy Keller shot Kloten ahead with less than a minute of play remaining.
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