by Pete Richmire

ONTARIO, CA. – The Stars (4-7) wrapped up their 2021 regular season schedule in overtime against the San Diego Sockers (3-6) 5-4 and snapped a three-game losing streak while extending the Sockers skid to four games. Vini Dantas got his team leading 10th and 11th goals, including the game-winner with 5:18 left in the extra frame.

For a game with such a dramatic finish, the first 30 minutes of play was relatively calm with only one goal scored and the game’s only power play opportunity. Dantas was issued a blue card for elbowing setting up San Diego with the only man-advantage of the night and they converted. Brandon Escoto fed Tavoy Morgan for his first goal of the season and a 1-0 lead the Sockers would take to the locker room.

The same two would hook up again for the first goal of the second half, Escoto’s second assist of the season and San Diego led 2-0 with 13:25 to go in the 3rd. Pablo Da Silva got the Stars on the board putting back a rebound on a Jamael Cox shot to cut San Diego’s lead to one, 2-1 with 8:06 on the clock in the 3rd.

Philip Lund connected with Douglas Lima for the equalizer with just under three minutes to go in the quarter, but less than a minute later the Sockers would go back in front. Brian Farber gave San Diego a 3-2 advantage going into the final quarter and another close game was in the future for Tacoma. Including today’s game, the Stars have had seven of their 11 games decided by just one goal. Three more were finished with a two-goal margin.

Dantas registered his first goal of the game with an assist to Lund to bring the game even once again, this time 3-3 with 13:00 left in regulation. De Oliveira gave the Sockers yet another lead thanks to an assist from Taylor Walter Bond with just under six minutes left.

With 1:04 on the clock, Da Silva sent a pass to Alex Caceres outside the right side of the box. Caceres one-timed the pass on a volley past San Diego keeper Boris Pardo to make it a 4-4 game and that’s what it was when time expired.

The game-winner for the Stars came when Eddie Na sent a pass to Dantas off the boards and Dantas, who was in the box to the right of Pardo, headed the ball to the back of the net to end the game 5-4.

The Stars will now wait to see who the Ontario Fury and Kansas City Comets will select as their first-round playoff opponents. The Sockers will travel to Dallas for the final game of the regular season on Saturday March 20.


1st – SD Morgan (Escoto) PP 10:03. Penalties – TAC Dantas blue card (contact above the shoulder/elbow) 8:41.

2nd – None. Penalties – None.

3rd – SD Morgan (Escoto) 1:35; TAC Brambila (Cox) 6:54; TAC Lima (Lund) 12:10; SD Farber (De Oliveira) 13:30. Penalties – None.

4th – TAC Dantas (Lund) 2:00; SD De Oliveira (Bond) 9:03; TAC Caceres (Brambila) 13:56. Penalties – None.

OT – TAC Dantas (Na) 4:42. Penalties – None.

Shots – Tacoma 6-7-9-7-2 (31), San Diego 7-0-4-5-1 (17)