Chris and Cam Seto, brothers who play for the Southern Oregon Spartans, are two of the top players in the Western States Hockey League. MAIL TRIBUNE / JAMIE LUSCH

Booming brothers

It was under very different circumstances that Cam Seto entered The RRRink, or The Madhouse as Southern Oregon Spartans fans call it, on January 22, 2016.

He was then a member of the Western States Hockey League's Fresno Monsters, and he was about to take on the Spartans.

On the opposite end of the ice stood a familiar face: His brother, Chris Seto, 14 months younger and the star of the show in Southern Oregon.

Fresno cruised that evening, 9-3, with Cam recording a goal and Chris tallying one goal and two assists.

The Spartans went on to win the three-match series, which stirred up the expected buzz when siblings compete against each other.

"You hear all the stories about The Madhouse," Cam says. "As an opposing player, it's still an experience to enjoy. With all the hype, it made things more intense."

The real excitement for Southern Oregon supporters came months later, when a three-team deal between the Spartans, Fresno and El Paso brought Cam to the Rogue Valley for good.

United once again, the two standout forwards from Surrey, British Columbia, have each played vital roles for Southern Oregon, which sits in second place in the seven-team Northwest Division at 15-2-2.

The Spartans host Vancouver (5-9-4) in a three-match series beginning Friday evening.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Chris leads the 30-team WSHL in scoring with 51 points (31 goals, 20 assists) in 19 matches.

The 19-year-old Chris recorded 56 goals and 51 assists for Southern Oregon last season, while 20-year-old Cam registered 31 goals and 65 assists for the Fresno Monsters. This year, the 5-foot-9, 175-pound Cam is 15th in the WSHL in scoring with 12 goals and 23 assists.

Third-year Spartans coach David Cole first caught wind of Chris at a showcase camp in Las Vegas, two summers ago. A Canadian coaching friend whom Cole hadn't seen in 25 years advised him to check out the prospect.

"He said I think I might have a forward for you," Cole says.

Prior to signing with the Spartans last year, Chris played just three matches for the North American Hockey League's Coulee Region Chill. The season before, he competed for the Alberta Junior Hockey League's Lloydminster Bobcats. Chris also played for the Cloverdale Colts Midget A1 club (2012-13) and Grandview Steelers (2013-14).

"He gave me a call and I took him," Cole said. "It was just a lesson in patience."

As the numbers show, Chris was worth the wait. Southern Oregon went 33-18-1 last year, ultimately losing to Missoula in the divisional semifinals.

Things got even sweeter for the Spartans earlier this year, when father Willy Seto gave Cole a telephone ring.

"We knew Chris was coming back, but we were under the impression Cameron would go on to school," Cole recalls. "Then I got a call from (Willy). (He said) Cam has had a change of heart and he wants to play with his brother."

Cole's response?

"Of course, sure," he says.

The transactions went through, and now Cam, in his final year of eligibility in Junior A, is helping Chris and Southern Oregon push for the postseason. As it stands now, Idaho (18-0-2) is in first in the Northwest and Bellingham third (8-10).

Chris recorded the go-ahead goal in a 3-2 double-overtime victory over Lake Tahoe (7-13-1) on Sunday. He and Cam both finished with one goal and one assist as the Spartans swept the series and won their fifth straight.

"I was pretty excited," Chris says of the day he learned Cam would be joining him. "We've always had success playing together."

They've had plenty of assistance from teammates like William Brunnberg (20 points), Jacob Elik (19) and Cy Jenson (16). Additionally, goalkeeper Mark Vlahovic is 12-2 with a 0.93 save percentage.

"It's not like one or two guys are carrying the load," Cole says.

Playing together on the same line is nothing new for the Setos, who grew up just outside of Vancouver, competing on youth teams.

"I try to treat him like any other teammate, but always to a higher standard," says Chris, who lives with a different host family than Cam. "We talk about hockey a lot (and) talk about different plays. Little things here and there."

Adds Cam: "I have a sense of where he'll be. You get a feel after awhile, you know his tendencies, what he might do."

The Setos have generated interest from colleges, Cole says.

"They are exciting players," he says. "We have a number of exciting players. These two bring a unique brand. ... They both work hard, play in all situations and they're good teammates for everybody."

Cole, like everyone else in attendance on January 22, appreciated the subplot of two brothers squaring off.

That said, he couldn’t be happier seeing family reunite.

“They definitely play better together,” he says.

Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email Find him online at

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