Zurich Lions through to finals

The Lions' Jan Alston flies over Ronald Rueger in the Lugano goal Keystone

The Zurich Lions have reached their third successive ice hockey finals after beating Lugano 5-4 in Thursday's decisive semi-final play-off match.

This content was published on March 29, 2002 - 12:27

It continues a three-year jinx for Lugano against the Lions. They were also beaten in the last two finals by the Zurich side.

A dramatic match at the Resega stadium in Lugano saw the home side take the lead after only three minutes when Régis Fuchs slipped the puck between the legs of Ari Sulander in the Lions goal.

But 30 seconds later the sides were level after Mark Ouimet equalised for the visitors. Six minutes later the Lions were 3-1 up thanks to goals from Jan Alston and Peter Jaks, leaving Lugano with a mountain to climb.

Patrick Sutter pulled one back five minutes into the second period to give Lugano renewed hope. But that mountain became even more insurmountable when Alston scored his second of the game to restore the Lions' two-goal lead.

Fuchs struck again for the home side in the 29th minute to cut the deficit to one goal, but again the visitors hit back through Petri Varis to ensure the Lions went into the final period with a two-goal cushion.

André Rötheli made it 4-5 with five minutes left on the clock, but despite a final flourish, it was not to be Lugano's night.

The Lions now go on to face Davos in this season's best-of-seven final play-off series, which gets underway on Saturday.

swissinfo with agencies

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