Ontario Powers Past San Diego 7-3 In Matinee

All good things must come to an end, including the San Diego Sockers’ domination of the Ontario Fury.

On a Presidents Day matinee in Ontario, the Fury scored three times with the man advantage and saw forward Franck Tayou net a hat trick, his empty-netter late sealing a 7-3 win over the Sockers. San Diego (12-5) fell to 5-4 away from home, with two more road matches upcoming over the weekend in Texas.

“We looked tired,” said head coach Phil Salvagio of the club’s effort, “It’s a learning lesson. We haven’t had (many) practices, so you can’t work on things. We showed it today.”

Ontario (7-8) ended a ten-match Sockers winning streak over them, beating San Diego for just the second time ever in the regular season. The Fury moved into the fourth playoff position in the MASL Western Conference with the result. 

Special teams continued to bedevil the Sockers, who are far from championship form in this important category. San Diego was shown four blue cards in the match, and saw three power-play goals scored against them. The Sockers have now conceded 16 power-play goals in 31 power plays against, and their .484 kill rate is last in the conference and 14th in the MASL.

“You’re losing your best players,” said Salvagio of the cards, “The fouls and penalties are costing us these games.”

The man-advantage is in a similar pickle. While Slavisa Ubiparipovic cleaned up a Brandon Escoto shootout attempt for a first-quarter power-play goal, San Diego came up empty on their other power play, and failed to score with a sixth attacker over the final four minutes. The Sockers are now 8-for-34 with the power play advantage, and their .235 conversion rate is the third-worst in the MASL, trailing only Mesquite (.143) and Turlock (.200).

Power plays dominated the first-half scoring, as Justin Stinson converted Ontario’s first man-advantage from the right wing for a 1-0 lead at 2:59, to be matched by Ubiparipovic’s goal at 13:22. The match was tied 1-1 after fifteen minutes.

A two-footed tackle of Tayou by Sockers defender Ray Contreras led to the Fury’s second power play of the game, slotted home by Maicon de Abreu from the middle of the penalty area on a feed from Charlie Gonzalez (two goals, assist). Tayou’s first of the night at 10:36 made it 3-1 Ontario, which was the halftime score.

San Diego forward Leonardo de Oliveira was shown a pair of cards in the third quarter, one for tripping, which turned into Tayou’s second goal of the match and a 4-1 lead. While de Oliveira scored on a Slav assist off a set piece to make the score 4-2 at 11:35 of the quarter, he was shown a yellow card for on-field dissent two minutes later. Charlie Gonzalez smashed home a right-wing setup from Nestor Hernandez at 14:01 of the quarter, and the Fury had a dominant 5-2 lead.

Ray Contreras snuck his first goal of the season home through Ontario keeper Chris Toth on the near post at :38 of the fourth quarter to flicker hope for the visitors, but Gonzalez’s second goal of the day at 4:20 of the frame extinguished the flicker. Tayou scored into an empty net at 11:12 to round out the scoring, as San Diego pressured with a sixth attacker.

The Sockers’ February road sojourn concludes with a Texas two-step over the weekend. San Diego will play at Mesquite on Friday before visiting Dallas on Sunday. Upon the trip’s conclusion, the Sockers will have played eleven of their twelve road matches for the season, including nine of their last ten.

The Sockers return home on Saturday, February 29 to battle the defending MASL champion Milwaukee Wave. Tickets are available online at SDSockers.com/tickets, or by phone at (866) 799-GOAL.