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Lugano bounce back against Minsk

Lugano's Mark Asthley (left) pushes Minsk's Vasili Rytvinski during Saturday's showdown Keystone

Lugano have kept their hopes of reaching the finals of ice hockey's Continental Cup alive with a 3-1 victory over Minsk.

In the second of their three semi-final matches, the Bianconeri bounced back from Friday’s 4-2 loss against Milan to secure their first aggregate points.

In front of 700 spectators in Asiago, Italy, Lugano’s Mike Maneluk was the first to score a goal when he slipped one past the Minsk goalie Sarudni in the third minute. But the Ticinese team’s early lead was short-lived with an equaliser from Minsk’s Bekbulatov six minutes later.

The ninth minute goal was to prove the only one of the match for the Belorussian team with Lugano dominating the last two periods on the ice.

Andy Näser was next to score in the 32nd minute of the second period with team-mate Jean-Jacques Aeschlimann sealing Lugano’s victory with a final goal in the 49th minute of the third period.

Minsk were left licking their wounds with the boys from Belorus now going into their Sunday match against Milan knowing they’ve already said goodbye to qualifying for the final.

Lugano will play the hometeam, Asiago, on Sunday, for the third round of their semi-final marathon. The Ticinese troopers need a win against Asiago if they are to join Swiss rivals, the Zurich Lions, in the January final.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR