by Pete Richmire

CHIHUAHUA, MX. – The Stars (8-8-1) began their two-game weekend swing through Mexico looking to extend their win streak and overtake the Monterrey Flash for the fifth playoff spot in the MASL Western Conference. Tacoma fell behind the Savage (14-5-1) by five goals early, battled back to get within one goal, but ultimately fell by a 12-9 final at Corner Sport Arena.

Six goals were scored in the first quarter. Unfortunately for the Stars, five of them were scored by the Savage, including three from Jose Gilberto Lopez who completed his rare first-quarter hat trick.

Tacoma’s newest player, Enrique Herreño, notched his first MASL point on an assist of a Nani Mendoza goal but the Stars trailed 5-1 after 15 minutes of play.

Hugo Puentes scored for the Savage to extend their lead to five goals at 6-1 with 9:56 to go in the first half. That served as a wake up call for Tacoma, who would cut that lead in half before the break.

First, Nick Perera used the first of his four assists on the night to ship a pass from the right boards to Philip Lund rushing the goal at the far post. Lund beat Chihuahua keeper Ivan Muñoz for his first goal of the night making it a 6-2 Savage lead with 7:41 left in the 2nd.

Perera assist number two came on an absolute rocket off the foot of Alex Caceres from just inside the offensive zone line to cut the Chihuahua lead to 6-3 with 5:16 left.

A Chihuahua goal from Enrique Cañez and a Lund to Souza strike for the Stars sent the game to the break with the Savage in front by three at 7-4.

Alan Crespo’s first of two goals, this one assisted by Logan Jones followed by a laser from Perera into the right upper-90 on the power play brought Tacoma within one at 7-6 with 5:17 to play in the 3rd quarter.

That was as close as the Stars would come in this game as Chihuahua tacked on two goals in the quarter to take a 9-6 lead headed into the final quarter of play.

The first goal of the 4th quarter extended Chihuahua’s lead to 10-6 before Lund nailed his second goal on a Perera assist.

Macias knocked in his second of the game for the Savage before Tacoma sent home back-to-back goals from Crespo and Mike Ramos, assisted by Caceres and Perera respectively. At that point, the Stars trailed by two at 11-9 with 1:10 to play.

Alvaro Luevano secured an empty-net goal for the Savage with seven seconds on the clock to seal Chihuahua’s 14th win of the season.

Tacoma concludes their four-game road swing in Monterrey on Sunday before returning home on Saturday, March 18 to host Mesquite for Retro/Alumni Night at 7:05 pm. The Outlaws and the Stars will go again on March 19 at 5:05 for Faith & Family Night at the accesso ShoWare Center.

Tickets for all Stars’ games are available at