Spartans triumph in Thorne Cup opener

MCCALL, Idaho — The Southern Oregon Spartans defeated the Dallas Ice Jets, 4-2, Thursday on the first day of the Thorne Cup, the final phase of the Western States Hockey League playoffs.

The Cup brings together the league's four division champions and two at-large teams, including Southern Oregon. The Spartans received a berth as the runners-up to the Idaho Junior Steelheads, the Northwest champion and tournament host. There are two rounds of play through today, with the top four advancing to weekend play based on points earned during the round-robin stage. The teams will be re-seeded for the two semifinal games.

Southern Oregon meets the Junior Steelheads at 7 PDT tonight.

In the win over Dallas, all but one goal was scored in the first period.

The Spartans tallied the first three, getting an unassisted score from MJ Melanson just 1:26 into the game.

Sebastian Romeo followed with scores at 6:35 and 9:22. Melanson and Hedjis Pleskacovs assisted on the first, and Kevin Edwards and Ryan Devine did so on the second.

Dallas closed out the period with goals by Johnny Henson and Grant Williams.

Melanson secured an insurance goal on a power play at 19:12, the assists going to Edwards and Romeo.

Southern Oregon goalie Austin Brihn made 34 saves against 36 Ice Jets shots.

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