The Fresno Monsters won two of three on the road in Southern Oregon, but the Spartans came up with a big clutch win in the middle game Saturday.
Fresno 3, Southern Oregon 1 – Southern Oregon’s Eric Vanderhoff broke the ice :26 into the second period of Friday’s game, but that was all that the Spartans would get past Fresno’s Max Karlenzig, who backstopped the Monsters to a 3-1 win.
Southern Oregon out-shot the Monsters, 25-18, over the first two periods, and kept Fresno off the board for the first 26:09 of the game, but Fresno prevailed behind Karlenzig (29 saves).
The game went into the third period tied, 1-1. Joel Brotzge gave Fresno their first lead of the game, 2-1, with 9:09 left in the game and Gustaf Wranghede put the game away with 1:40 remaining.
Rory Scott, who scored the first Fresno goal, stripped a Spartans player just inside the Fresno blue line, skated hard all the way down the ice with the puck before dishing it over to Wranghede who finished cleanly to close out the scoring.
Southern Oregon 4, Fresno 3 – The Spartans scored twice in the final 3:14 of Saturday’s game to steal a 4-3 comeback win.
The Monsters took a 3-2 lead into the third period, and held serve for the first 16:46 of the frame, but Michael Hodgkinson tied the proceedings for the Spartans and Adam Van Akin scored the game-winner with 1:58 left – his first goal of the season.
Gabriel Lessard, who made 39 saves in his Spartans debut, kept the Monsters off the board in the third period, allowing the Spartans to stage their comeback.