Zurich Lions and the Kloten Flyers are both just one win away from the semi-finals of the Swiss ice hockey playoffs after the two canton Zurich teams completed their third successive victories against their quarter-final opponents.
The Lions took an early lead against Lake Zurich rivals, Rapperswil-Jona, with Swiss international defender Mark Streit scoring in the 11th minute. But the defending champions had to wait until the 56th minute to tie up the match, Patric Della Rossa grabbing the Lions second.
Larry Huras's side now have a 3-0 lead over Rapperswil in the best-of-seven quarter-final series and could book themselves a place in the semis with a fourth win on Saturday.
The Lions' fierce rivals from Kloten are also looking good for a semi-final berth after adding a 3-1 away win in Zug to their two previous quarter-final triumphs.
Just hours after being handed a SFr 3,000 fine for making an obscene gesture to the Kloten fans on Saturday, Todd Elik made a more positive contribution to match number three, putting Zug ahead with a goal in the 29th minute.
But Kloten responded swiftly with two goals in the next eight minutes, Brandon Convery first levelling the scores before Marco Kiprusoff put the Flyers ahead. Felix Hollenstein then wrapped up a 3-1 win, firing into an empty Zug net in the final seconds of the match.
swissinfo with agencies