Sockers Beat Sonora 7-3 In Physical Match

The Pacific Division champion San Diego Sockers (14-3) followed up winning the title on Friday with a 7-3 win over Sonora (11-7) on Sunday before the largest crowd of the season of 3,827 at Valley View Casino Center.

Sonora opened the scoring after the Sockers were called for a handball in the box. MASL leading scorer Franck Tayou buried his penalty shot at 2:18 into the game. San Diego answered back when Kraig Chiles tied the game with an unassisted power-play goal at 5:26 in the 1st quarter. Chiles scored his second goal of the night at 13:35 in the second frame, sending San Diego into the locker room at the half leading 2-1.

The Soles Gustavo Rosales knotted the game at 2-2 only three minutes into the third quarter. San Diego newcomer Jamie Lovegrove, who tallied an assist in his debut on Friday night, struck for two markers to give the Sockers a 4-3 advantage entering the final period.

Sockers goalkeeper Chris Toth made a season-high 19 saves, some of the spectacular variety, to earn his seventh victory of the season. Some of his biggest saves were made in the third to keep San Diego ahead.

In the fourth, Luan Oliveira scored a power-play goal from inside the box to put San Diego up for good at 5-3 with just under four minutes remaining. The Sockers capped off the night with two goals from Raymundo Contreras and Brandon Escoto against Sonora’s sixth-attacker.

The physical match almost got out of hand late in the game. Six penalties were called for a total of 13 penalty minutes in the final four minutes of the contest.

San Diego goes across the country to play back-to-back games against the Florida Tropics on Friday, February 16 and Saturday, February 17, both games start at 4:35 p.m. PT. The Sockers will return to Valley View Casino Center on Saturday, February 24, 7:05 p.m. to host Rio Grande Valley on College & $2 Bud Light Night. The first 2,000 supporters will receive a FREE pair of Sockers Sunglasses.

 NEXT THREE MATCHES Feb. 16 @ Florida I Feb. 17 @ Florida I Feb. 24 v. Rio Grande Valley

 THREE STARS: 1. Lovegrove, 2 goals 2. Chiles, 2 goals 3. Toth, 19 saves
 PACIFIC DIVISION STANDINGS: 1. San Diego 14-3 2. Ontario 9-10 3. Tacoma 8-10 4. Turlock 2-17