The Tacoma Stars entered the ShoWare Center Sunday in need of a win. Losers in the last four they had played, and facing a St. Louis Ambush side that had lost 7-5 on Friday evening to fall to a dismal 1-17 on the young season. No one would blame you for thinking trap game.
The game started off evenly matched, with both teams getting decent looks on net and both goalies doing their part. Joseph Cairel would strike for the Stars off a Derek Johnson assist. St Louis would return fire with in two minutes, to make the score 1-1.
Tacoma would then rattle off three consecutive goals. The first would be slotted home by Mike Ramos, with Captain Joey Gjertsen recording an assist. The next two would be scored by Raphael Cox and Chase Hansen. Raphael would get the first with an assist from Hansen. And Hansen would score his with an assist from Cox. Bring the core to 4-1 and end the first quarters scoring.
The two sides would combine to score five goals in the second stanza of action. St Louis scored twice in the first seven and half minutes. Those goals sandwiched a Joseph Cairel brace. Dan Antoniuk would get the assist on the play. Antoniuk would find himself in the goal column thanks to a well timed deflection. Evan McNeley would score a goal adding to the Tacoma lead. Alex Megson would assist both of the power play goals. The half ended with the score 7-3.
The third quarter saw the Ambush score twice in the first two minutes of the third quarter. Those goals would be scored thirty-four seconds apart. Suddenly the trap door seemed to be opening. Megson would slam that door shut with an unassisted power play goal that sucked the air out of St Louis. McNeley would get himself a brace, thanks to a nifty pass from Antoniuk. No scoring in the final quarter saw Tacoma win 9-5.
The win brings Tacoma to 10-7 on the season, and drops the Ambush to 1-18. Tacoma added some breathing space in the playoff race thanks to a Ontario Fury loss. The Two sides will met Sunday in Ontario for the Stars final road game of the season. This is sure to be a sizzling match up.
The next home game will be Feburary 24th, and the 9-7 Chicago Mustangs will be in town for the Friday night showdown. This will be the only time the Mustangs and Stars meet this season and will be very important to the playoff race depending on results from this up coming weekend.
The Pacific Division playoff picture is still fuzzy but one thing is clear, San Diego can clinch this weekend with a win over the winless (0-15) El Paso Coyotes. Tacoma will not clinch this weekend, but can help their cause a lot with a win.
The Next Stars home game will be Sounder at Heart night! So be sure to join us as we have a special evening with the Stars. Tickets are $16 and you get a hat to show your stars pride. You can get tickets for Sounder at Heart night here.