Lausanne Ends Zurich’s Invincibility: LHC Victorious in Thrilling Match – Full Recap and Analysis

2024-04-19 12:44:16

Lausanne ended Zurich’s invincibility. In front of its home crowd, the LHC won 4-2 and returned to 1-1 in the series.

After a minute, shot attempts were seen from one side as well as the other. But it was Zurich who scored the first goal. After a dangerous shot from Denis Malgin, it was Sven Andrighetto who deceived Connor Hughes (4th, assist: Denis Malgin). The Lausanne goalkeeper put the mitt down, but the puck went into the top corner.

“Tonight we played 55 minutes I would say,” explains Damien Riat, LHC striker. “The first 5 minutes, they came a little stronger than us and they scored this goal. But we didn’t give up, we didn’t give up. never panicked and we came back into this match after 5 minutes.

The LHC also had a chance to come back straight away thanks to a powerplay. But their opponents were able to quickly follow the puck to prevent Lausanne from stopping their game, despite a few good shots.

Before the series, Jason Fuchs told us: with Zurich, you have to know how to be patient. Know how to wait exactly 5 minutes and 34 seconds. This is the time it took for the Lausanne 3rd line to equalize. And what action! Michael Raffl checked Mikko Lethonen against the boards. Enough to clear the puck. Christian Djoos recovered at the blue line and returned towards the center. The three attackers then offered a very good sequence. Tim Bozon passing to the right, Ken Jäger passing back to the left and Michael Raffl finishing (10th, assists: Ken Jäger and Tim Bozon).

The rest of the period saw the LHC evolve into boxplay twice. Zurich, with a numerical superiority, took their time to circulate the puck. Consequence: few attempts and the few shots were deflected.

The Lausanne Lions mark their territory

Geoff Ward’s men came back from the locker room pumped up. In the 22nd minute, they were dangerous with Jiri Sekac who entered the offensive zone and then served Théo Rochette on his right. He was able to cross, but Antti Suomela’s shot then ended up on Simon Hrubec.

Cold sweats a few moments later with a Zurich shot which hit the post. With the optical effect, you would have thought he had crossed the line, but no. Lausanne nevertheless dominated this third, spending many minutes in its offensive zone. Something that was more difficult in powerpay however.

The Vaudoise Aréna went up in flames this Thursday. At the time of the interviews, several minutes after the final siren, the kop was still singing. “It’s unreal, I have goosebumps,” said Robin Kovacs. “It’s incredible what they give us.” KEYSTONE/Salvatore Di Nolfi)

It is therefore logical that the Lions regained the advantage. Cody Almond went to annoy the Zurich residents who had the puck to dispossess them and push the puck towards Ronalds Kennins. There it was a question of speed. The Latvian directly served Tim Bozon who after an impressive sprint took the time to arm, shoot and score (38th, assists: Ronalds Kennins and Cody Almond).

Little Zurich mistakes

At the start of the third period, Lausanne did excellent defensive work in front of their goalkeeper’s cage, notably preventing Derek Grant from equalizing. But a mistake from Fabian Heldner put them in a delicate situation. At 5 against 4, the ZSC Lions did not need to be asked. On a pass from Denis Malgin which crossed the entire width of the ice (and therefore the game), Sven Andrighetto sent a shot that we had difficulty seeing go through. The puck slipped under Connor Hughes’ arm. It’s the equalizer (43rd, assists: Denis Malgin and Dean Kukan).

Be patient and don’t panic. We are starting to know the song, but Lausanne masters it to perfection. Little by little, the Vaudois Lions continued to gain the upper hand over their opponents. And this is how Damien Riat, in association with Robin Kovacs, was able to take the advantage (51st, assist: Robin Kovac). He explains this action to us.

Did the Swedish striker see his teammate, or did he sense that he was there to receive the pass? “No, I saw it coming,” he laughs. “I can’t score at the moment, but I can pass. It’s fantastic.” A great reward for him who appears, then disappears from the lineup for several months. “I try to work as much as possible and when I’m on the ice, I just try to help the team, explains Robin Kovacs. Today I felt good, I was fresh and it was fantastic to make that pass and allow Damien to score.”

Two days earlier, a few errors cost Lausanne two goals. Thursday at the Vaudoise Aréna, the trend was reversed.

A team effort

Robin Kovacs had a chance to score a few minutes after the 3rd goal. Alone facing Hrubec, the puck, low on the ice, hit the post. Nothing was missing for him to pass to the side of the net. On this same action, Rudolfs Balcers was penalized for a butt hit. Two minutes and 3 seconds from the end of the match, Lausanne was offered a good chance to kill the match.

Give the Lions food, they will prove indomitable. The Vaudois only needed 11 seconds to score 4-2. An exchange between Lawrence Pilut and Jason Fuchs gave the Swedish defender time to position himself well. Almost from the blue line, he shot. In front of the cage, Michael Raffl deviated. And Lausanne won, breaking the perfect series that Zurich was achieving in these playoffs.

With a match every two days, this final phase of the championship is a question of adjustments. Tonight’s meeting proved that the work done between the two acts paid off.

But then, what made the difference this Thursday?

Before the series, we could wonder if it was going to be a duel between a united group and individuals. Lausanne has now built a good core, with this great atmosphere that we have known since the start of the season. And Damien Riat confirms, this victory is due to the whole team.

LHC returns to 1-1 in the series. The next match will be Saturday in Zurich where Geoff Ward’s men will try to make the break.


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