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Denis Malgin prevents a false start in the play-offs

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Denis Malgin prevents a false start in the play-offs

The Zurich team celebrated a successful start to the play-off quarter-finals on Saturday evening. But only thanks to their top scorer, who turned the game against Biel in the final third.

Denis Malgin celebrates the winning goal in the opening game between the ZSC Lions and EHC Biel.

Ennio Leanza / Keystone

(sda) Thanks to two goals from top scorer Denis Malgin, the ZSC Lions turned around a 2-3 deficit in the final third and thus prevented a false start in the play-off quarter-finals against Biel.

The qualifying winners from Zurich started the series much better than last spring, when they quietly failed against Biel in the semi-finals with a 0-4 win. However, it took all of Denis Malgin’s class and determination for the positive final result.

Biel is full of juice

With twelve and a half minutes left to play in the sold-out hockey temple in Zurich-Altstetten, Malgin drove through the entire Biel backline in his inimitable style and also defeated the somewhat surprisingly nominated goalkeeper Joren van Pottelberghe backhand. It was ZSC’s third lead, and it held despite a final offensive from Biel.

Biel, which, unlike Zurich without a game, had played four games in the last twelve days and survived two play-in rounds, was the expected dangerous opponent. Although the Lions had more of the game for long stretches, the Zealanders were always dangerous with quick counterattacks.

Strong ZSC power play

But the ZSC could rely on its power play. Two outnumbered opportunities resulted in Derek Grant’s 1-0 lead in the 10th minute and Malgin’s equalizer at 3-3 75 seconds after Biel’s first lead. This was achieved by veteran Luca Cunti, who was twice champion with the ZSC Lions, after a good five minutes in the final third and an exemplary combination.

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Before that, in the middle third, the Finns Aleksi Heponiemi equalized twice at the end of a power play and Toni Rajala. The Bielers are likely to remain a dangerous opponent for the ZSC.

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