This is the last week of the MASL regular season. Time to bring your seat backs forward and stow those tray tables. There was only one mover in the Power Rankings this week and that was the Harrisburg Heat, whose red hot finish (and 2-0 head-to-head record) bumped them past the St. Louis Ambush.
The cement on the Power Rankings is nearly dry, but Monterrey and San Diego could be on the move depending on this week’s results. The Flash and Sockers do battle on Saturday in what could be a preview of the Western Conference Championship. The Sockers are banged up, but it’s hard to believe they will pull any punches against such a tough opponent with the home fans watching and a 20-game winning streak on the line.
Monterrey then visits the Ontario Fury on Sunday. The Flash are ranked #5, just a hair behind Utica City FC.
More precious than rankings, City can win the Eastern Division title by beating the Orlando SeaWolves Friday and the Tacoma Stars can take the lead for the Pacific Division playoff spot with a win in Turlock. If Tacoma loses they are eliminated, but if they win then the Fury game against Monterrey becomes a must-win for Ontario.
Also of interest is the Milwaukee Wave season finale against the Kansas City Comets. Call it a dress rehearsal because the game has no bearing on anything, but the same two teams will face each other the following week in the Ron Newman Cup Division Finals.
In the also-ran department, the Turlock Express and El Paso Coyotes are both still neck-and-neck for the dubious honor of finishing #17 in the Power Rankings. To paraphrase what they say in Hollywood, it’s an honor just to be ranked.
The Sockers continued to experiment with fire, blowing a 6-2 lead in Ontario before pulling away for a 10-6 win, and then rallying from 3-0, 4-2, and 5-4 deficits to top Rio Grande Valley 6-5 in overtime. The winning streak is now at 20.
The Blast eked out a 4-2 road win in Florida to end the season with 10 wins in their last 12 games. The Blast allowed four goals or less in each of their last six games, a GAA of 2.42.
Monterrey spotted Tacoma a 3-0 lead, but then scored eight times in the game’s final 22 minutes to knock off the Stars 9-5.
The Barracudas struggled to beat Turlock 6-5 and then shut out the Sockers for three quarters before allowing a five-goal avalanche in the fourth quarter, eventually losing 6-5 in overtime.
Ontario couldn’t get the job done against San Diego and now, to make the playoffs, the Fury needs the major miracle of a Turlock win over Tacoma Friday or the minor miracle of an upset of Monterrey on Sunday.
The Stars couldn’t hold onto their lead in Monterrey so now they need the Flash to beat Ontario Sunday, assuming Tacoma takes care of Turlock on the road first Friday.
Harrisburg ended their season with 10 wins in their last 16 games after a 1-7 start. They finished an impressive 9-3 at home, but their 2-10 road record got them in trouble, starting with an early season winless six-game road trip.
The Sidekicks have played an awful seven game stretch (1-6) after their midseason peak that saw them go 3-1 against Monterrey, Rio Grande Valley, and Tacoma.
The Tropics held the Blast to four goals, but could not generate any offense of their own in a 4-2 loss.
The MetroStars closed out their disastrous first season with a 9-6 loss in Harrisburg to finish 4-20. Mississauga went 2-17 over their last 19 games.
Turlock took Rio Grande Valley down to the wire, but fell 6-5, despite leading 3-2 in the third quarter.