STARS CRUISE TO 15-5 WIN TO SPLIT SERIES WITH AMBUSH
KENT, WA. – If the Stars (2-2) were looking to rebound from their Friday night loss to the St. Louis Ambush (3-5), they did it in dramatic fashion using six goals and three assists from Nick Perera to dismantle the visitors 15-5 Sunday evening. The story of the day, however, took place pre-game as Stars owner Lane Smith and his staff scrambled to field a team after positive COVID tests would have normally put the game in doubt.
Smith tapped his Stars Reserves team for several players after the positive tests sidelined some key Stars players and head coach Mike Jennings just hours before kickoff. Cory Keitz took the reigns of the team for the Sunday game and the Reserves players stepped in even after having played a WISL game the night before in Olympia.
The Stars dominated this game from start to finish after opening up a 7-0 lead before the Ambush picked up their first goal of the game. Nick Perera notched his hat trick with 10:48 left in the first half. Alessandro Canale recorded a hat trick as well during the first half of the game as well and the Stars led by a 10-2 margin at halftime.
For the Stars, Adrian Correa had two goals and an assist in the first half, and Mike Ramos and Logan Jones also found the back of the net.
With 5:41 to go in the second quarter, Robert Kristo snapped the Stars scoring run and made it a 7-1 game at that point. St. Louis’ Vadim Cojocov added a second marker for the Ambush to close out first-half scoring with 2:01 to go in the second quarter and cut Tacoma’s lead to 10-2 at the break.
While Stars Reserves players did not account for much of the Stars scoring, what they did bring to the game is intensity and hustle which Stars regular roster players fed off and was key to tonight’s turn-around performance. Anreas Almao, Isidro Prado-Huerta, Mark Lee, Nate Ford, and Ismael Deluna of the Reserves all made their season debuts with the Stars.
Perera, already with three goals to his credit, began his second-half hat trick with goal number four of the night with 11:57 on the clock in the third quarter, giving Tacoma an 11-2 edge. The only other goal in the third frame came off the foot of Logan Jones, assisted by Perera and the teams headed to the final quarter with the Stars in front 12-2.
Eddie Na and Perera scored for the Stars just over a minute apart to start the final quarter and the Stars were up 14-2 before St. Louis struck again, and they struck again in big fashion. William Eskay scored three-straight goals for St. Louis, including two short-handed goals 30 seconds apart to make the score 14-5 in favor of the Stars with 2:14 left to play.
Had the strikes from Eskay come earlier in the game, it may have swung momentum St. Louis’ way, but the next thing Eskay did was draw a blue card for tripping cutting down a Tacoma rush and setting up a shootout for Perera.
Perera crashed the goal, moved to his left drawing second half Ambush keeper Jose Resendiz off his line and sliding the ball past him into the net for his sixth goal of the game and reaching the 15-5 final score.
For his effort, Resendiz allowed five goals, while first-half keeper Josue Mazon was tagged for 10 Stars goals.
Stars starting keeper Danny Waltman, who drew 3rd Star of the Game honors, stopped nine St. Louis shots, and allowed just two goals. In relief, Nate Salveson played almost 12 minutes, his first action of his MASL career.
1st – TAC Perera 3:47; TAC Correa 5:40; TAC Canale (Correa) 7:20; TAC Perera 9:42. Penalties – None.
2nd – TAC Canale 2:03; TAC Perera 4:12; TAC Correa 5:36 SH; STL Kristo 9:09; TAC Ramos (Hall) 9:41; TAC Canale (Caceres) 11:35 PP; TAC Jones (Perera) 12:36; STL Cojocov 12:59. Penalties – TAC Ford (blue- tripping) 5:14; STL Schmermund (blue- tripping) 10:45.
3rd – TAC Perera 3:03; TAC Jones (Perera) 14:36. Penalties – Perera (blue- boarding) 6:32.
4th – TAC Na (Canale) 2:36; TAC Perera 3:39; STL Eskay (Berry) 6:11 SH; STL Eskay (Nyamsi) 6:45 SH; STL Eskay 12:46; TAC Perera 13:27 SO. Penalties – STL Ndiaye (blue- tripping) 5:42; TAC Na (blue- striking) 9:44; STL Eskay (blue- tripping) 13:23.
Power Play – Tacoma- 2/3 St. Louis- 0/3
Shots – Tacoma- 6-6-2-3 (17), St. Louis- 5-7-2-5 (19)
Attendance – 1,424
The Stars five-game homestand comes to an end when the Kansas City Comets come to town on Sunday January 16. Game time is 5:05 pm and you can get your tickets at tacomastars.showare.com today.
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