SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Last weekend, the Southern Oregon Spartans played the Bellingham Blazers and lost all three games on home ice, giving the Blazers enough points to tie the Lake Tahoe Icemen for second place in the Western States Hockey League's Northwest Division.
Tahoe swept a three-game series from the Spartans in their last match-up, two weeks ago, Feb. 9-11, at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena. That was the last time the Icemen played.
The teams will meet again for a three-game set starting Friday, Feb. 23, in Oregon.
Ahead of the weekend, Icemen head coach Mickey Lang said: "These are must win games for us, but the last three games were also must wins for us. They [Spartans] haven't been performing well, so we want to get on them early, and stay on them the entire 60 minutes."
The Icemen head to Oregon with an 8-10-1 record away from home ice. They are tied with the Blazers with 49 points in 45 games overall (23-19-3).
Both the Icemen and the last place Spartans (11-34-1) this season have collected penalty minutes at a high clip. The Icemen average 28 minutes in the box per game while the Spartans are averaging 29 minutes.
Icemen forward Paul Frys will look to continue his 24-game point scoring streak and reach triple digits in total points. He has 95 points with six games to play in the regular season.
The Icemen have three goaltenders, Wade Conlan, Tommy Spero and Maximilian Haselbacher, who all have about the same save percentage .903, .890 and .906, respectively.
Following the three-game set in Oregon, Tahoe will head to Washington to play the West Sound Warriors on Friday through Sunday, March 2-4, at Bremerton Ice Center.