DENVER, CO – Saturday’s snow accumulation may have effected attendance, but the Colorado Blizzard didn’t let the weather or their opponent stop them from another victory, nor tarnish their unbeaten record, as they knocked off the Knights 15-2.
Strong performances were turned in by the entire Blizzard side. Goalkeeper Miguel Rosales had 11 saves and Hans Hassell, Andrew Mejia, and Ri Armstrong each had two blocks. Armstrong was also one of three Blizzard players with a hat trick on the night; the other two were Tony Avery and Stibe Torres.
The Blizzard have won seven straight, have the only perfect record in Major Arena Soccer League 2, and are on top of the Eastern Conference, ahead of the Chicago Mustangs. They travel to face the Mustangs on February 25 in a game that will certainly have post-season implications.
The top three teams from each conference qualify for the post-season. The Eastern Conference opening round bye will most likely belong to the winner of Blizzard at Mustangs on the 25th, a game that will be the second of a difficult two-game road trip for Colorado. Before that, however, Chicago will have to get by the Muskegon Risers on February 16 and the Blizzard face in-state rival Colorado Inferno, this afternoon at the Denver Coliseum at 3:05 pm.
The Blizzard are up two games to zero over the Inferno in the I-25 Series so far this season. The Blizzard won the first game back on December 23 at the Coliseum, 9-6. Cody Stratton led the way for Colorado with three goals, followed by Torres who had two goals and one assist. The second game went to sudden death overtime at the Inferno’s home arena, SoccerHaus, in Colorado Springs on January 19 where Alex Moseley scored off a set piece from the top of the arc to give the Blizzard the dramatic 9-8 OT win.
Today’s game will be the toughest test yet for both teams. The Blizzard will look to stay undefeated and clinch the I-25 Derby bragging rights for 2017-18. The Inferno need to cut into the Blizzard’s lead in the season series, but more importantly, they are in a three-way battle in the Western Conference with the Ontario Fury II (currently first place), and the San Diego Sockers 2 (currently third place) and they need wins to earn that top spot. This game is sure to be extremely exciting and competitive.
The Inferno are led by veteran goalkeeper Justin Dzuba and have the league’s two top point and goal-getters: Thomas Hoang with 32 points (1st MASL2), 24 goals (1st MASL2) and Francisco Rivas with 21 points (2nd MASL2), 17 goals (2nd MASL2).
For the Blizzard, Moseley is 3rd in MASL2 in assists with eight, 2nd on the team in points with 14, and is one of the team’s top all-around players. Rosales is 3rd in MASL2 in Goals Against Average at 6.33, 2nd in Save Percentage at .711, and 3rd in Wins with six, and Torres leads the Blizzard in points (17) and scoring (11). Look for them to make an impact.
The Blizzard finish up their 2017-18 MASL2 regular season home schedule next weekend on Saturday, February 17 versus the Ontario Fury II at 7:05 pm. Tickets are available at www.axs.com or at the Coliseum box-office. Then they are on the road for their final three regular season games, February 24 at Cincinnati Swerve, February 25 at Chicago Mustangs, and March 3 at Colorado Inferno.