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Spartans fall in second-round opener

MISSOULA, Mont. — A third-period surge by the Southern Oregon Spartans hockey team wasn’t enough to rally from a three-goal deficit against the Missoula Maulers, who won 5-4 at Glacier Ice Rink on Friday.

The match was the first of a best-of-three series in the second round of the Thorne Cup Playoffs.

The Spartans (33-18), who need a win to stave off elimination today, fell behind 3-0 before back-to-back goals by David Widnig and Christopher Seto put Southern Oregon within a goal.

Missoula (33-18) answered with consecutive goals of its own. The Spartans got off a potential game-tying shot final shot with 2.7 seconds remaining, but it was stopped.