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Thorton leads league in playoff scoring

BERN, Switzerland -- Joe Thornton, Rick Nash and Niklas Hagman finished a frustrating season on a high on Thursday after helping HC Davos lift the Swiss league title.

Prevented from playing in North America by the NHL lockout, the three forwards have instead been making a strong impression on Switzerland's top division and were all present on Thursday as Davos came from behind to beat the Zurich Lions 3-2.

The win, which completed a 4-1 series triumph, was sealed with an overtime goal from the club's fourth foreign player,
former Chicago Blackhawks' center Josef Marha.

The 28-year-old Czech latched onto a Laurent Mueller assist to end the match -- and the series -- after 8:24 of overtime.

Thornton, a 25-year-old center who can normally be found captaining the Boston Bruins, finished the season as the
playoffs top points scorer with four goals and 20 assists.

The Canadian international's 20th assist came on Thursday when he and Nash combined to set up Swiss international Michel Riesen for the night's fourth goal.

Nash, a 20-year-old winger for the Columbus Blue Jackets, scored nine goals for Davos during the playoffs with Florida Panthers winger Hagman getting 10.

"It feels great, I've never really won anything in my life," Nash told Swiss television on Thursday. "Hopefully the Stanley Cup will be next, but now I just want to celebrate the Swiss championship."

One of Switzerland's most traditional clubs, Davos has now won 27 national league titles.

All but six of those wins date back to the first half of the last century, however, when Davos were the dominant force in
Swiss hockey.

Thursday's victory was the club's second league title in the past 20 years.

Davos coach Arno Del Curto took an early gamble that the NHL lockout would not be resolved in time to rescue the North American season, provisionally signing up Thornton, Nash and Hagman during the summer.

If the NHL dispute, predominantly over players' salaries, had been settled, the club from east Switzerland would have instantly been deprived of their three top players.

Unfortunately for North American hockey fans, and fortunately for Davos, the league and the players' association
have so far been unable to reach an agreement.

Former Atlanta Thrashers teammates Randy Robitaille and Andy Sutton were on the losing side for Zurich.