Key Dupont goal helps Zurich conquer Bern

Zurich’s Micki Dupont is known more for his rough play than for his scoring prowess, but he put one in the Bern goal during the third period Wednesday to break a 1-1 tie and shift momentum from the Bears to the Lions. With Bern star Jason Spezza in the penalty box for interference, Zurich winger Drew Stafford drilled home his 5th of the season to put the Lions up 3-1. Brian Elliott out-dueled Mike Smith in goal and Patrick Kane, who centers Alexander Radulov and Blake Comeau on Zurich’s second line, was the only player to score more than 1 point. Both teams are now 4-4-1. Reaching the .500 level is a drastic improvement for Zurich, which finished 24-48-10 and third from the bottom of the standings last year and was forced to read headlines all season long about the success of the other two Swiss teams in the league. Two of Zurich’s three selections in the Season 2 draft are seeing regular shifts this season. Radulov, a 20-year-old Russian who went fourth overall in the draft, has 3 goals and 3 assists and sports an impressive 17.6  shooting percentage at this early stage of the season. Among rookie scorers, he and Mathis Olimb of Minsk are a point behind Athens’ Vadim Shipachyov. And second-round pick Janne Niskala, 25, has played in all 9 games and is already considered among the  best defensive players on the team. He is a plus 2, with 10 blocked shots and 19 hits.

Other highlights from Wednesday:

  • Bratislava 4, Athens 2 – Franz Nielsen’s 5th goal of the season put Bratislava up 3-0 and teammate Kyle Brodziak’s tally stopped Athens’ momentum. Nielsen is averaging a point per game. He had 51 in 82 games last season.
  • Helsinki 6, Frankfurt 0 – Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves and earned a shutout  for the league’s top team. It was Lundqvist’s first shutout of the season and sixth of his EURO career. Six different players scored goals for Helsinki.
  • Munch 5, Edinburgh 3 – Munich backup goalie Robert Kristan was outstanding, stopping 38 Capitals shots to beat Edinburgh. The 24-year-old Slovak was the 68th player taken in the Season 2 draft and this was his second game for Munich. Foxes Josh Bailey and Milan Hejduk had multi-point nights.
  • Paris 4, Prague 1 – Les Rouges Eiffels won with a four-goal outburst in a 4-minute stretch of the second period. Lee Stempniak started the run with his second of the season after Kyle Turris did good work along the boards to keep the puck in and start the scoring play.
  • St. Petersburg 2, Minsk 1 – The Red Stars played great team defense, allowing only 15 Minsk shots to reach goalie Pekka Rinne. Jarome Inginla assisted on both St. Pete goals, the fourth goals of the season for Erik Cole and Brad Richards.
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