The last two times the San Diego Sockers faced the Ontario Fury, San Diego won by razor-thin margins.
For Ontario, however, the third time was the charm.
Riding a hat trick from Franck Tayou and two goals from Juan Carlos Gonzales, the Fury defeated the visiting Sockers 7-3 as the Ontario offense figured out the tricks to San Diego’s defense to take the win.
Both teams exchanged power-play goals in the first quarter, as Ontario’s Justice Stinson and San Diego’s Slavisa Ubiparipovic both found the back of the net during the two-minute man advantage.
A string of three straight goals, two on power plays, shot the Fury ahead with a lead they wouldn’t let go of for the rest of the game. Blue cards on Raymundo Contreras in the second quarter and Leonardo de Olivera in the third allowed Tayou and Maicon de Abreu to cash in with goals.
San Diego got two more goals from De Olivera and Contreras, but Tayou’s third goal and two goals from Gonzales in the final minutes kept the Fury lead at an unattainable distance.
Both keepers played their hearts out but, despite making 15 saves, Boris Pardo took the loss as Chris Toth kept the Sockers out of the Ontario goal by making nine saves.
Once again, blue card penalties were the Sockers’ downfall as four Sockers were sent to the penalty box for a two-minute infraction with De Oliviera even earning a five-minute yellow card. While Ontario received two yellow cards, they only received two blue cards to limit the power plays given to San Diego.
It is a problem that has plagued the Sockers all year. Currently, San Diego leads the MASL with 9.8 total penalty minutes per game, a full minute ahead of the Dallas Sidekicks’ eight minutes per game.
With the loss at Ontario, the Sockers are now 5-4 when playing games away from San Diego, but are 7-1 inside the friendly confines of Pechanga Arena. The Sockers now travel to the state of Texas to take on the Mesquite Outlaws on Feb. 21.
I am currently attending San Diego State University while working on achieving a major in journalism. At SDSU, I write for The Daily Aztec while also hosting the sports radio show “Picked Off”, for KCR Radio. A loyal fan of San Diego sports, I hope to bring content that you will enjoy reading.