Paris, Athens ready to do it again

Paris 7, Zurich 3 – Paris wins series 4-1

A strong third period on Sunday pushed the Paris Rouge Eiffels into their third straight appearance in the Southern Conference Finals. Except for when they were shorthanded, Paris was the better team. They outshot Zurich 42-23 and had whopping shot advantages in the first and third periods. But thanks to three powerplay goals in four powerplay chances, the Lions were up 3-2 when the third period began. Josef Vasicek scored a little more than 6 minutes into the third period to tie the game and 4 minutes later, Alexander Semin scored his 8th goal of the playoffs after taking a pass from behind the net off the stick of David Perron. Evgeny Malkin ended up with a hat trick in the game for the Eiffels, with Corey Perry assisting on all 3 goals. Paris, the highest scoring team in the league, had 12 forwards and 6 defensemen score points in the series, and that includes Steve Olesky iwho played his first game of the playoffs on Sunday. The only regular who didn’t score at least a point was Jason Krog. Malklin and Joffrey led the team in scoring with 6 points in the series, while Alex Pietrangelo, Semin and Perry all had 5, and Vasicek, Perron and Mikko Koivu all had 4. Ilya Kovalchuk was Zurich’s top scorer in the series with one goal and three assists. Several members of Zurich’s high-powered offense were slowed by Paris in the series. Patrice Bergeron, Patrick Sharp and Drew Stafford each managed just 1 assist in the 5 games. Paris will face Athens for the third season in a row for the Southern Conference title. Two seasons ago, the Rouge Eiffels beat Athens in 5 games and then topped St. Petersburg in the Finals. Last season, Paris pulled off a miracle comeback win against the Greeks thanks to a Lupul goal in Game 007. They lost to Moscow in the Finals.

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