The Top of the Pops went all wiggly for a second straight week. With Utica beating Baltimore and San Diego beating Monterrey, the Sockers and City moved up while the Flash and Blast moved down. The biggest beneficiary of all this movement was Tacoma who got sucked into the #3 spot despite being idle last week.
With Milwaukee staying at #1 and Utica rising to #2, the stage is set for a January 6 match-up for #1 (assuming Milwaukee dispatches the Mississauga MetroStars on January 5). Utica will get to host a tired Wave team, who will be on the road playing the second leg of a back-to-back. If the Wave win, there will be no dispute who the #1 MASL team is heading into Week 7.
Down below, the St. Louis Ambush’s momentum was stopped cold by the Kansas City Comets and the Wave. St. Louis didn’t move down, though, because the Orlando SeaWolves were also blown out and, though the Comets beat the Ambush handily, they still have a worse record and have lost two of three head-to-head.
The Florida Tropics jumped ahead of the idle Rio Grande Valley Barracudas and the MetroStars beat the Harrisburg Heat as the two teams traded places in the rankings.
This week’s notable games include the Ontario Fury at the Sockers on Saturday, the aforementioned City/Wave game, and the Stars at Rio Grande Valley, also on Sunday.
Somehow the Wave only led 2-1 halfway through the third quarter and then scored six goals in about eight minutes to run away from the Ambush, 11-5.
The Citians beat the Blast for the second time in three meetings, setting up a title fight against the Wave January 6.
The Sockers caught a nice rebound in the topsy-turvy Top 6 thanks to two impressive road wins over Dallas and Monterrey. San Diego leapfrogged the Flash, and the Blast, who also lost.
The Blast find themselves momentarily out of the Top 4 after a second loss to Utica, but their next five games are extremely winnable, before they face Milwaukee and get another shot at Utica.
Monterrey has yet to look anything like last year’s dominant team through three games.
A trip to Turlock always seems to be a House of Horrors for the Fury, but they have now survived two close calls there this year.
The final score doesn’t reflect it, but Florida dominated Orlando in the meeting between the Sunshine State rivals.
Orlando staged a decent comeback after the Tropics called off the horses, but neither the offense nor the defense is working now.
St. Louis gave up goals in big bunches to fall back below .500 after lopsided losses to Kansas City and Milwaukee.
The Comets salvaged a win in their three game mini-series with the Ambush.
Mississauga held off the Heat for their second home win.
Harrisburg fell to 1-4. With their next six game against Baltimore and Utica the Heat will be lucky to not be 1-10 by Valentine’s Day.
The worst 3-3 team this side of the Rio Grande. Their two wins against El Paso and upset of the Barracudas are keeping them afloat long enough to figure things out.
The Coyotes still have 17 players awaiting visas, so the roster the Coyotes are fielding these days includes a lot of Plan B and C options.
Turlock has played a lot better in their last two games against Ontario, but they need to win the close games at home if they want to do better than last year’s 3-19 disaster.