LAS VEGAS, NV – The Colorado Blizzard are the only undefeated team left in the MASL2 after beating the Las Vegas Knights 8-7 on Sunday afternoon at the Las Vegas Sportspark. The Blizzard drove to Vegas from Arizona after a hard-fought victory over the Impact Saturday night, 11-9, to finish the two-game weekend road trip.
In the first period, the Blizzard scored twice, Alex Moseley from Stibe Torres and Judson McKinney from Ri Armstrong. The Knights got one back before the end of the period, scored by Boris Gujic (unassisted).
The second period saw the Blizzard outscore their opponents again, this time 3-2, sending the game to halftime with the Blizzard on top 5-3. Colorado scored first, Edgar Olivas assisted by Brice Colcombe, but then the Knights got the next two, both by Gujic from Eric Guzman, completing Gujic’s hat trick. McKinney netted his second of the night, unassisted, at 10:26 and then Torres scored a buzzer beater assisted by Moseley.
The Knights came out blazing in the third as the Blizzard struggled to keep pace. The battle-weary Blizzard played well most of the night, but started to tire early in the period. They gave up three straight goals and got shut out 3-0 in the period, losing the lead for the first time in the game. Knights goals were scored by Ivan Simental from Guzman, Gujic assisted by Jackson Collins to tie it up, and Marco Valencia from Hector Casillas to take the lead. Adding to the Blizzard’s troubles, goalkeeper Miguel Rosales was injured when he clashed heads with a Las Vegas player in his penalty area, leaving him cut and bleeding. Without a backup keeper on the road trip, Rosales was treated for the impact and cut to his head and, after the blood was cleaned from the arena floor, remarkably he returned to the game. After the game Rosales had to go to the emergency room to get stitched up.
Finding themselves down 6-5 heading into the fourth period, the Blizzard had to dig deep. On the powerplay, McKinney scored (unassisted) to cap his own hat trick at 11:55, tying it back up at 6-6. Colcombe scored a couple minutes later assisted by Armstrong to regain the lead and Torres added one (unassisted), his second, with just over a minute to play against the Knights sixth attacker. The Knights got one back, playing with the roaming goalie, with :03 on the clock courtesy of Valencia, assisted by Guzman, but it was not enough. The Blizzard held on to win, 8-7.
The Blizzard are now an impressive 4-0 on the season and currently sit tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Mustangs at 5-1. The next game for the Blizzard is next Friday, January 19 against in-state rival Colorado Inferno who are 3-3 on the season and in third place in the Western Conference. Kickoff is at 7:35 pm at the SoccerHaus in Colorado Springs. This will be the second meeting between these two teams in what’s being called the “I-25 Derby”. The first game saw the Blizzard victorious by the score of 9-6.
The Blizzard return home to the Denver Coliseum on February 3 to start a four-game home stand versus the San Diego Sockers 2, at 7:05 pm. Then they host the Las Vegas Knights on February 10 at 7:05 pm, the Colorado Inferno February 11 at 3:05 pm, and the Ontario Fury II on February 17 at 7:05 pm. Tickets are available at www.axs.com or at the Coliseum box-office.