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Zurich and Lugano pull further ahead

Zurich's Pat Lebeau takes a tumble after putting his side ahead Keystone

The top two sides in the Swiss ice hockey lead pulled further ahead of the chasing pack on Thursday as the Zurich Lions and Lugano both registered narrow home wins.

The Lions beat fourth-placed Zug 6-5, with Swiss national forward Claudio Micheli scoring the third top division hat-trick of his career. His first goal was particularly notable for being scored while Zurich were a man down.

The defending league champions were just as impressive in defence, successfully stifling a second period Zug power play that lasted for almost a minute.

Perhaps the only side Zurich need fear this season are Lugano, who followed up Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at the Hallenstadion with a 2-1 home win over Rapperswil.

The Ticinese side have now won eight of their last 10 matches, to lift themselves to within four points of the Lions with four games in hand.

Rapperswil, on the other hand, have now lost their last six matches and are just four points clear of the relegation play-out zone.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR