Hockey: LA falls in state final to Rio Rancho

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By Mike Cote

RIO RANCHO — A stretch of just over 10-1/2 minutes would be everything the Rio Rancho Rams needed and everything the Los Alamos Hilltoppers didn’t.The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team, playing in Saturday’s New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League pure team championship, outscored Rio Rancho 3-0 in the bookend periods, but the Rams scored four unanswered goals in a 10:37 stretch of the second period, holding on for a 4-3 win.Saturday’s state title game was played at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, the home ice of the New Mexico Scorpions professional hockey team.The Hilltoppers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period and just missed on another scoring opportunity before the Rams’ offensive onslaught.The big blow of the contest came with just 8.9 seconds remaining in the middle frame.

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