by Pete Richmire

The Tacoma Stars (3-6-1) return to the accesso ShoWare Center following a five-road game stretch to face the San Diego Sockers (10-0-1) on Friday and Saturday nights. As the 2021-22 MASL season reaches the mid-point, these two games are pivotal for both teams. San Diego will look to stretch their five-point lead over Ontario, who is inactive this week. The Stars will need to gain ground on Milwaukee, who is three points ahead of Tacoma for the final wild-card spot.

Nick Perera continues to lead the Stars in scoring and remain in the league’s top five with 24 points (13G-11A). Two more Stars have 10+ points this season in Alessandro Canale (10G-3A) and Vini Dantas (7G-4A). On defense, Cory Keitz has rapidly increased his block number and now sits with 11.

In goal, Danny Waltman has started every game for Tacoma and brings a 3-6-1 record with a goals-against-average of 6.80 and .635 save percentage to the game. The number one keeper on the Sockers side is Boris Pardo and his 7-0-1 record, 5.26 GAA, and .693 sv%.

Offensively, the Sockers have no shortage of scoring threats with seven players in double-digit production led by Brandon Escoto’s 21 points (8G-13A). Escoto got the game-winning goal in overtime vs Tacoma in their last meeting.

Tavoy Morgan is second on the squad with 20 points (15G-5A), followed by Kraig Chiles (9G-7A), Leonardo De Oliveira (4G-11A); Juan Manuel Rojo 8G-6A), Christian Gutierrez (10G-2A), and Charlie Gonzalez (7G-5A).

After this weekend’s games, the Stars will conclude their season series with San Diego on March 20 with a visit to Pechanga Arena San Diego.