ZSC Lions Zurich vs HC Lugano
Competition: Champions Hockey League
Date: 9th November 2016
Kick-off: 19:45 CET
Lugano fought back from two goals down to win the match 3-2 on home ice last week, and now travel north to Zurich with that one-goal advantage to hand. While the Lions would have been disappointed to have let that lead slip, it wasn’t altogether surprising – long-time leaders of the NLA over the early season, their form was tailing off in the weeks before the international break.
Remember there is no ‘away goals’ rule in the CHL, so it’s pure aggregate scoring.
While ZSC were never comfortable at the top of the NLA, they did have a decent cushion which was slowly eroded away as the international break drew closer. They’ve not won a game in regulation since 18 October, with 3 two-point wins, 1 one-point loss, and two losses in the period since. Including the loss in Lugano last week, ZSC have only one win from their last five games, and that was on a shootout.
Lugano in this year’s CHL have been a strong team, despite some rough patches in games. They have a tendency to totally switch off for 10-15 minute periods, let their opponents back into the game, and then turn it back on again after some strong words from the coach. Whatever Doug Shedden says though has clearly been working, as HLC have only lost one game in the entire competition so far. In the NLA, it’s been less rosy – 27 points from 19 games putting them seventh overall and just about in the playoff picture. They had lost their last two matches straight before the win last week.
Throughout the CHL however ZSC have been very strong – they eased through the group stage and Round of 32, and on home ice especially have been impressive. Without loss at home, the Lions have averaged 3 goals a game, and have conceded just 0,7 a game so far – including two shutouts in the group stage.
Lugano are undefeated on the road in the CHL, with impressive wins in in Tappara and Mannheim in the opening stage, before a 3-3 tie in Pilsen in the last round. That tie came however thanks to a last-minute equalizer for the hosts, while Lugano already knew they were through on aggregate. Averaging three goals a game themselves on the road, Lugano have been slightly less tight in defense than the Lions, giving up an average of two a game.
ZSC Lions Zurich vs HC Lugano: Head-to-Head
The only league meeting this was was in September, when Zurich ran out 4-1 winners at home. Lugano don’t have a very good record in Zurich, one win in five and only three form the last 10.
ZSC Lions Zurich vs HC Lugano: Prediction
CHL can see league form go out of the window – and Lugano have enjoyed the CHL ride so far this season. Both sides have strong netminding, but you’d probably judge give it to ZSC being at home.
ZSC Lions Zurich vs HC Lugano: Tips
- Zurich-1 at 2.15