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Zurich wins European title, earns game versus NHL team

RAPPERSWIL, Switzerland - The Zurich Lions shut out defending champion Metallurg Magnitogorsk 5-0 for the European club crown Wednesday and the right to play an NHL team in a US$1 million challenge game.

The Swiss champion won the two-leg Champions Hockey League final 7-2 on aggregate after the teams tied 2-2 in Russia last week.

Zurich will face an NHL squad for the Victoria Cup scheduled to be played at Bern, Switzerland, in October.

Four of the five goals Wednesday came from Canadians.

Blaine Down knocked in his own rebound at 17:17 of the first period. Domenico Pittis, a former draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, tipped in the second goal at 14:48 of the second.

The third came from Swiss Mathias Seger, a 10-season Lions veteran, on a power-play slapshot at 8:57 of the third. Within a minute, 39-year-old Jan Alston made it 4-0, and Jean-Guy Trudel completed the scoring with less than three minutes left.

With its home rink preparing for an Art on Ice figure skating show which starts a four-night run on Thursday, the biggest game in Lions history had to be played 34 kilometres from Zurich at the stadium of Swiss League rival Rapperswil-Jona Lakers.

The International Ice Hockey Federation is hoping have the European champ matchup against the Stanley Cup winner. However, in the inaugural Victoria Cup match last October, the New York Rangers, who last won the Stanley Cup in 1994, beat Magnitogorsk 4-3.


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