OGDEN -- For the second straight weekend, the Ogden Mustangs netted a 2-1 series win, this time over the Southern Oregon Spartans with a 6-3, 6-4, 2-7 effort at the Weber County Ice Sheet.
Despite Sunday's 7-2 loss, the Mustangs (4-3-1-1) now sit in second place in the Western States Hockey League's Pacific Division ahead of next weekend's series in Southern Oregon against the same Spartan team.
"We got complacent," Ogden head coach Jake Laime said of Sunday's loss. "We came off two well-earned wins and we took them a little bit for granted and we didn't put together a full 60 minutes. It's a three-game series and we can't forget about that."
Friday's match showcased an Ogden team that seemed rejuvenated coming off a pair of road wins the previous weekend. Led by forward Sean Haltam's two goals and an assist, the Mustangs rolled over the Spartans with an aggressive, fisticuff-filled style that became a theme over the course of the series.
Haltam ended the weekend series with a team-high five points on a trio of goals and two assists.
During a Saturday-night match that was every bit as aggressive as Friday's, Ogden forward Joe Hewitt led the Mustang offense with three points on a goal and pair of assists.
"Our line was clicking pretty well," Hewitt said. "We were moving the puck well and really getting our team chemistry back together."
Matic Ovsenar put the Mustangs on the board first Saturday night, taking a puck from Hewitt midway through the first period and finding an opening on Southern Oregon goalie Sean Buckley.
After the Spartans equalized on a score from forward Tim Talty, the Mustangs logged a pair of goals two minutes apart early in the second period as David Clements notched a power-play goal followed by a shorthanded score from Dusty Watt.
Watt and Ovesnar both finished with two points on the night for Ogden as each tallied a goal and assist, while Tyler Fallica picked up his second win in as many nights between the pipes for the Mustangs.
"I felt a lot more confident with our team," Fallica said. "We've started to form as a family, and I think that's something that has really come together for our team."
Talty and Avik Bordak each netted three points for the Spartans in Saturday's loss.
Sunday's matinee looked to be a repeat of Saturday early on as Ogden opened scoring in the first period after forward Alex Pizzaro found a puck in the crease and buried a rebound off Buckley's pad.
Southern Oregon came back and equalized before Ogden's Schuyler Seyfert logged a breakaway score by sending a wrist shot to the top right corner of the net.
Nick DeSimone gave the Spartans their first lead on the day, lifting a puck over Ogden goalie Brendan Tidman. Tidman struggled through Sunday's match, facing 65 Spartan shots in the loss.
It was all Southern Oregon from there as the Spartans scored four more unanswered points through the second and third period.
With Ogden down 7-2, a relatively mild game boiled over late in the third period as a pair of fights produced multiple ejections, including Ogden's head coach and a Southern Oregon assistant coach.
The chippy series is made all the more interesting considering the Mustangs will travel to Southern Oregon to take on the Spartans for another three-game set starting next Friday.
"It's going to be a dogfight," Laime said. "I knew this would be a physical series coming in, and I expect it will be the same up there."