TROPICS TOP STARS 8-7 IN OVERTIME
Kent, WA. – The Stars (7-10) and the Florida Tropics (16-2) went the distance and then some as fans at the accesso ShoWare Center witnessed an incredible match that went to overtime and ended in an 8-7 win for the visitors.
Florida got on the scoreboard first in the match when Lucas Montelares found Guilherme Dos Santos for his 11th goal of the season to give the Tropics a 1-0 lead with 10:09 left in the opening quarter. The lead did not last long as Alessandro Canale scored for the Stars just 15 seconds later to level the match 1-1. Drew Ruggles found the back of the net for the Tropics with 8:19 to play in the first to make it a 2-1 lead for Florida after one quarter of play.
The Tropics entered the match with an 85% success rate on their penalty kill and they stopped the Stars power play after Montelares was shown a blue card for holding with 6:00 remaining in the first. Tacoma had been 50% with the man advantage coming into play. Tacoma went on to score twice on the power play later in the game.
Nick Perera sailed home his 20th goal of the season with 7:45 left in the first half to bring things even at 2-2. Back to back Tropics goals from Ricardo Carvalho and Montelares gave Florida a two-goal advantage after the first half of play.
The third quarter belonged to Tacoma and they used it to draw even 4-4 heading into the final 15 minutes of regulation. Perera notched the first goal of the quarter on an assist by Caceres to make it 4-3 Florida with 9:38 left in the third. Lamar Neagle tied the match 4-4 on the first of his three second-half goals, this one assisted by Perera.
The fans were treated to a wild fourth quarter as the teams combined for six goals, scoring three apiece. It was a Perera assist on a Neagle goal that got the Stars on top for the first time in the game 5-4. Dos Santos scored his second of the game for Florida to knot the match 5-5 with a power play goal with 9:01 remaining. Caceres found a power play goal for Tacoma with 7:00 to go giving the Stars a 6-5 advantage.
The back and forth battle continued on a Lucio Gonzaga goal for Florida with 6:24 left making it a 6-6 game. Neagle completed his hat trick as Tacoma went in front 7-6 with under five minutes left in regulation. Florida pulled keeper Hugo Silva in favor for a sixth attacker and sent the game to overtime on a Zach Reget goal with 2:41 left to play.
Before the final horn however, Neagle was shown a blue card for boarding with 39 seconds on the clock. Florida started overtime with 1:21 to go on the power play and they converted with a Carvalho marker for the win.
The same teams will battle again on Sunday with a 5:05 pm kick off to complete the two game set.
1st – FLA Dos Santos (Montelares) 4:52; TAC Canale 5:07; FLA Ruggles 6:42. Penalties – FLA Montelares blue card (holding) 9:00.
2nd – TAC Perera 7:45; FLA Carvalho (Parreiras) 10:05; FLA Montelares 13:54. Penalties – none.
3rd – TAC Perera (Canale) 5:22; TAC Neagle (Ramos) 14:04 PP. Penalties – FL Parreiras blue card (boarding) 14:34.
4th – TAC Neagle (Perera) 1:42; FLA Dos Santos (Parreiras) 5:59 PP; TAC Caceres 8:00 PP; FLA Gonzaga (Carvalho) 8:36; TAC Neagle (Caceres) 10:08; FLA Reget 12:19. Penalties – TAC Antoniuk blue card (boarding) 4:32; FLA Parreiras blue card (tripping) 6:50; TAC Neagle blue card (boarding) 14:21.
OT – FLA Carvalho (Gonzaga) 0:27 PP. Penalties - none
The Stars conclude their two-game set with the Eastern Conference leading Florida Tropics on Sunday March 1st. Game time is 5:05 pm and you can get your tickets at tacomastars.showare.com today.