MEDFORD, Ore. — Two days in the Madhouse was enough for the Butte Cobras.
The Cobras got five goals late in the third period Saturday night, and Butte beat the Southern Oregon Spartans 8-3 in the arena known as the “Medford Madhouse.” Stats
The win gives the Cobras a 2-0 victory over the Spartans in the best-of-three Thorne Cup Playoffs series. It also sends Butte to McCall, Idaho, next weekend to take the Idaho Jr Steelheads in a best-of-three series for the Northwest Division title.
Saturday’s explosion came after the Cobras saw a 3-1 lead evaporate in the blink of an eye.
Jacob Elik and Chris Seto scored goals a little more than 2 minutes apart to tie the game 3 with 11 minutes, 14 seconds left in the third period.
Once the Cobras answered, the goals just kept on coming.
Derek Smith scored an unassisted power-play goal with 7:45 to play to put Butte on top for good at 4-3.
With 5:15 left, Jan Marcilis scored off an assist from Petr Panacek and Augusts Veidenbaums. Just 36 seconds later, Joel Johnson scored to make it 6-3.
Daniel Armstrong and Dominik Hula assisted on Johnson’s goal.
Taylor Kerr and Armstrong then added goals in the final two minutes to slam the door shut on the victory.
Once again, the Cobras never trailed. Earl Webb put Butte up 1-0 with 8:50 left in the first period. Jacob Rudloff and Harro Koll assisted on the first goal.
Panacek made it 2-0 off a Marcilis assist with 3:56 left.
The Spartans got on the board when Harmen Vining scored with 12:40 left in the second period.
Artsiom Puntus answered with an unassisted goal with 12:44 left in the second. That 3-1 lead held until the exciting final period.
Butte net minder Eric Ahlberg stayed unbeaten in the postseason by turning away 39 shots. The Spartans outshot Butte 42-33.
Idaho swept Lake Tahoe, winning 13-2 Friday and 9-5 Saturday.
The Steelheads won five of six games against the Cobras during the regular season. Butte’s lone win came in Idaho.
The Division Finals will be played Friday, Saturday and Sunday, if necessary, at the Manchester Ice Center.