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Zurich Lions become ice hockey kings of Europe

The Zurich Lions have thrashed Metallurg Magnitogorsk 5-0 for the European club crown and the right to play an NHL side in a million-dollar challenge match.

The Swiss champion won the two-leg Champions Hockey League final 7-2 on aggregate on Wednesday. The sides drew 2-2 in Russia last week.

The Champions League involves the national champion teams playing club hockey in Europe. 2008/2009 is its first season.

"I'm so proud to be the coach of this team," said Zurich Lions' Sean Simpson after the match. "Our dedication and game were simply extraordinary."

Four of the five goals on Wednesday came from Canadians in the Zurich ranks.

Zurich will face a side from the NHL, the professional ice hockey league in the United States, for the Victoria Cup scheduled to be played in Bern in October.

The biggest match in Lions history had to be played 34 kilometres from Zurich at the stadium of Swiss League rival Rapperswil-Jona Lakers. Its home rink at the Hallenstadion in Zurich was pre-booked to prepare for an Art on Ice figure skating show which starts a four-night run on Thursday.

In the inaugural Victoria Cup match last October, the New York Rangers beat Magnitogorsk 4-3.


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