by Pete Richmire

KENT, WA. - With the 2022-23 regular season in the books, the Western Conference's number four-seeded Tacoma Stars' postseason gets underway on Wednesday night against a familiar foe in the number five-seeded Mesquite Outlaws. The teams met three times during the regular season with the Stars sweeping the Outlaws with two of the wins coming at the accesso ShoWare Center.

Wednesday's game will be a one-game play-in with the winner moving on to face the Western Conference Champion San Diego Sockers in a best-of-three playoff series.

The Stars enter the playoffs having compiled a 12-10-2 record with a 7-4-1 mark at home. The Outlaws, who finished tied with Tacoma with 37 points, finished behind the Stars with the regulation wins tie-breaker, 11-10. Mesquite went 12-9-3 during the season and was 4-6-2 away from Mesquite Arena. 

Following the final game of the season, the Stars' Nick Perera was crowned the MASL's Scoring Champion after tallying 70 points on 33 goals and 37 assists. That put Perera 16 points ahead of Franck Tayou, who finished second with 56 points. 

Perera's 37 assists also saw him named the 2022-23 MASL Pass Master for leading the league in that category. His strong play this season also puts him in the running for an MASL MVP Award as well as Elite Six recognition. Those awards will be announced in the coming days during the playoffs.