Fribourg-Gottéron lost at home against the ZSC Lions in the first match of the semi-final (2-3 ap). Raphaël Diaz and Denis Malgin were on the ice for the decisive goal in overtime.
There was a match on Friday evening between Raphaël Diaz (Fribourg) and Denis Malgin (Zurich). The ZSC striker, scorer in overtime, had the last word in his distance duel with the captain of the Swiss team. It’s now 1-0 in the series in favor of ZSC. Act II of the semi-final this Sunday at the Hallenstadion (8 p.m.).
Raphaël Diaz (Fribourg-Gotteron)
The captain of the Swiss team had made himself particularly useful in the quarters against Lausanne in a role above all of support and withdrawn on the offensive level. He started the semi-final in the same register, aligned this time alongside Benoît Jecker instead of the injured Mauro Dufner. If Diaz once again bet on his experience to allow Fribourg-Gottéron to spend relatively quiet moments in the first part of the evening, it was nevertheless following one of his rare puck losses in the neutral zone that the ZSC’s second goal at the start of the second period (41′, Andrighetto).
Points: 1 (0 goals, 1 assist)
The international defender, however, erased his mistake, insofar as it was decided to attribute it directly to him, a few minutes later. He created confusion in the opposing defense by abandoning his post at the blue line and then making his way to the Zurich goal. His backhand shot, poorly negotiated by goalkeeper Ludovic Waeber (established in the absence of Jakub Kovar, announced ill), allowed Samuel Walser to convert the rebound to equalize at 2-2 (49th). In overtime, Diaz found himself on the ice again when the Zurich players scored the winning goal. This time, poor backchecking from the wingers (despite the fact that Diaz tried to alert his forwards) allowed Denis Malgin to break free and win a pass from Maxim Noreau. We had barely played for 1 minute and 18 seconds in the second overtime (82nd, 2-3).
Denis Malgin (ZSC Lions)
Points: 3 (1 goal, 2 assists)
Raphaël Diaz’s teammate in the Swiss team delivered a solid match and demonstrated that he continues to gain strength in these play-offs. Involved in the three Zurich successes of Act I of the semi-final (one goal, two assists), Denis Malgin inflicted the first home defeat of the play-offs on Christian Dubé’s team. At the start of the second extra time of the evening, Malgin sniffed the right shot and subtly escaped the marking of the Friborg wingers before deceiving Reto Berra halfway with an unstoppable direct shot (82nd).
If Chris DiDomenico was omnipresent in the Friborg camp (one goal), Malgin won his duel from a distance with the topscorer of the Dragons while piloting his unit perfectly (with Denis Hollenstein and Sven Andrighetto). The three internationals scored their team’s three successes. Facing Biel in the previous round, Malgin had already been decisive. Especially during Act VII at the Hallenstadion when he scored the winning goal for ZSC.