In the last game recap, we mentioned the San Diego Sockers were 10-0 at home, but in this recap, you will learn that they are 7-3 on the road (unless you did the math already). One of those 3 road loses was Thursday nights opponent, the Ontario Fury. The Fury were needing a victory against San Diego in order to stay in the playoff race. With San Diego already set for playoffs, and Fury playing win or go home, it was time for the rivalry to begin.
The first quarter featured little action but a lot of physical play. The referees were allowing a lot of physical play go without a penalty which made the game way more epic and entertaining. Neither team was able to score a goal in the 1st quarter as both teams mostly tried to control the ball which led to a 0-0 tie after one.
San Diego took a 1-0 lead 2 minutes into the 2nd when Kraig Chiles scored his 50th point of the season. Ontario tied the game 1-1 with 8:32 left in the 2nd. The Fury grabbed their first lead of the game when Leonardo De Oliveira gave the Fury a 2-1 lead with under 4 minutes left. San Diego made an amazing attempt to score on a bicycle kick but the shot was just off. With time expiring in the first half, Matt Clare found back of the net with 5 seconds left in the half to tie the game 2-2 at halftime.
The Sockers wasted no time getting the lead back in the 2nd half as Kraig Chiles scored his 2nd goal of the game 19 seconds into the 3rd quarter. San Diego led 3-2 and were only getting started. Brandon Escoto doubled the Sockers lead to 4-2 with the assist going to Hiram Ruiz. The assist made it 5 straight games Ruiz has gotten a point. John Sosa continued the Sockers 3rd quarter success, finding the back of the net with 5:30 left in the 3rd for a 5-2 Sockers lead. The Fury were quiet the whole quarter until Juan Carlos Gonzalez cut the deficit to 5-3 with 3:56 left in the 3rd. Ontario received a blue card before the 3rd quarter ended. San Diego led 5-3 at the end of the 3rd quarter and would start the 4th with a power play.
San Diego was unable to capitalize on the power play to start the 4th . With teams back at even strength, Matt Clare pit the Sockers back up by 3 with his 2nd goal of the match for a 6-3 San Diego lead. The Sockers were awarded a shootout following an Ontario blue card with 9:09 left in the 4th. Brandon Escoto capitalized on the shootout attempt for his 2nd goal of the match and a 7-3 San Diego lead. Ontario wasn’t going away quietly has they brought in the 6th attacker following the Sockers goal. The Fury grabbed a goal with 2:57 left in the game. Brandon Escoto capped off the scoring with his hat trick completing 3rd goal of the night vs 6 defenders as San Diego won 8-4, ending the Fury’s playoff hopes.
The Sockers improve to 18-3 and will play one final home game on March 3rd against El Paso before starting their playoff run. San Diego’s fir playoff game will be Thursday, March 8, at Tacoma versus the Tacoma Stars in the best-of-three Divisional Championship Series. The 2nd game will be at the Valley View Casino Center on Saturday, March 10 7:05 p.m. and if a tie breaking mini-game is need, if will be played immediately following game two.
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