EL PASO, TX. – The Tacoma Stars (6-6) traded leads with the El Paso Coyotes (3-7) but ultimately held on for a one-goal victory 6-5 on Friday night. With the win, Tacoma evens the season series with El Paso at one win apiece.

The Coyotes went in front of the Stars in the first quarter with two unanswered goals by Hugo Puentes and Jose Moreno for a 2-0 lead with 5:48 on the clock. Nine seconds after Moreno’s goal, Vince McCluskey took a Mike Palmerin pass and buried it to put the Stars on the board. Tacoma leveled the match at 2-2 when Nick Perera found Mike Ramos for a goal to close out scoring in the first quarter.

The Stars took their first lead of the match on Pablo Da Silva’s first of two goals on the night, this one with an assist by Joey Gjertsen just 21 seconds into the second quarter. Jorge Rios tied the game for El Paso, assisted by Jose Moreno and the teams went in to the locker rooms tied 3-3.

The third quarter belonged to the Stars. After killing off an El Paso power play, Derek “El Tigre” Johnson knocked home his first goal of the year assisted by Perera to put the Stars up 4-3. Philip Lund gave Tacoma a two-goal advantage with 5:10 left in the third but the Coyotes weren’t done.

With 11:27 left in the fourth, Omar Tapia converted on a Puentes assist to cut Tacoma’s lead to 5-4. Stars keeper Sanaldo, who picked up his first win in a Tacoma kit, was handed a blue card for holding with 5:52 remaining. That set up a shootout for Rios who scored to tie the game 5-5.

The Stars power play was running at 62% on the season coming in to tonight’s game and the Coyotes gave them an opportunity to improve when Eduardo Cisneros was sent off for two minutes on a dangerous play penalty. Da Silva made them pay with a power play goal with 3:02 remaining. That would prove to be the game-winner for Tacoma in front of 1,263 fans at the El Paso County Coliseum.

The two teams will wrap up their season series on Friday March 1 at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent. The Stars will retire kit number 11 in honor of Stars legend Preki.

Scoring Summary

1st Qtr - ELP Puentes 7:38; ELP Moreno 8:47; TAC McCluskey (Palmerin) 8:56; TAC Ramos (Perera) 11:08; Penalties - none.

2nd Qtr - TAC Da Silva (Gjersten) 0:21; ELP Rios (Moreno) 2:58; Penalties - none.

3rd Qtr - TAC Johnson (Perera) 3:04; TAC Lund 9:40; Penalties - TAC Ramos blue card (pushing) 0:43.

4th Qtr - ELP Tapia (Puentes) 3:26; ELP Rios 9:05 shootout; TAC Da Silva 11:56 PP; Penalties - TAC Sanaldo blue card (holding) 9:08; ELP Cisneros blue card (dangerous play) 9:59.

Shots in the Game- Tacoma 5-7-5-1 (18 ); El Paso 3-2-4-3 (12)

Attendance - 1,263