30 for 30
The Ontario Fury had a busy week routing the Dallas Sidekicks and then winning on the road against the St. Louis Ambush and Kansas City Comets. The Ambush and Comets entered the weekend with a combined 12-4 home record, but the red hot Fury blew through both of them to run their winning streak to six. Ontario is now 10-8 after a 2-7 start. Franck Tayou, who has scored at least one goal in 30 straight regular season games, went through a similar turnaround with the Sonora Soles in 2017-18. The Soles started that year 2-5, but ended up with a 15-7 record. Tayou also has hat tricks in four straight games.
How Long Were You Standing There?
The Comets and Ambush had are having a compelling season. The Comets were briefly over .500 until this week. The Ambush hit the .500 mark a couple times. Until very recently, both teams were in striking distance of the fourth playoff spot and would still be in the playoff race if they were in the Western Conference. Even now the Comets are only two games back in the loss column. At no point this year, however, did we ever consider the possibility of either team being a playoff contender, so it’s amusing to read that their playoff hopes took a hit this week, but it must be said both teams have over-performed our preseason predictions (Kansas City is 8-9 compared to our 7-17 prediction, St. Louis is 8-11 vs. 6-18).
Covering the Spread
After losing their first 17 games by a average margin of 8.23 goals per game, the Rochester Lancers rallied from a 5-2 deficit to send the Blast to overtime before Juan Pereira’s early sudden death goal kept Rochester winless. Baltimore has already lost a game to the 1-15 Orlando SeaWolves, but the Lancers missed a golden chance to be playoff spoilers.
Half and Half Nots
The Ambush continued a fascinating trend against the Milwaukee Wave. In four meetings this year, St. Louis has allowed a total of three goals in the first half of those games, but 29 goals in the second half. On Sunday, the Ambush parlayed a 4-3 halftime lead into a 12-6 loss, thanks in part to Ian Bennett’s six goal night.
Friday Ontario will travel to Turlock, which has at times been a Hall of Nightmares for the Fury. Saturday and Sunday Utica will get their first real challenge since December when they put their seven game winning streak on the line for two games in Sonora.
The featured games of the week will see the Wave visit the San Diego Sockers and the Fury. It will be Milwaukee’s first game in San Diego since January 5, 2016 and their first visit to Ontario since January 6, 2016.
Last Week: 1
The Flash clinched the Western Conference title before any other team even cliched a playoff berth.
Even in a tropical paradise, the Soles have to set sometime.
The first rule of Utica City Fight Club is no one talks about Utica City. Utica has played the fewest games so far and the first half of their games were mostly against Baltimore and Harrisburg and the latter half they had St. Louis and Rochester on repeat so there have been less City sightings than bigfoot. The 13-3 team with a seven game winning streak is about to get back into the limelight with eight games against six different opponents. Beside their weird schedule, Utica wouldn’t be in witness protection if there were still four divisions and they were vying to clinch an Eastern Division title.
Things got hairy in Kansas City after the Wave seemed to have salted the game away with a 6-4 lead with three minutes left, but they needed a Chad Vandegriffe overtime goal to pull out the win. Despite all their injuries and immigration problems, the Wave have only two regulation losses this year.
The Heat set a franchise record with their 12th win of the year and kept their playoff chances strong with a win over the Blast. The general math is the Heat now need a win in Baltimore on March 7 and then two home wins in their last four games.
The Sockers beat Dallas (barely) to improve to 4-5 in their last nine after going 30-1 in their previous 31 games.
The Blast avoided disaster in Rochester but lost to Harrisburg in their third game in three days with a banged up crew. Even with Adriano Dos Santos, Marco Nascimento, and Richard Schmermund sitting out Sam Guernsey saw little playing time leaving Ibrahima Keita, Jereme Raley, and Mike Deasel to eat a lot of minutes. William Vanzela was shaken up in the third quarter as well.
Sonora dropped back below .500 after losing (as expected) to Monterrey and Florida. Rankings Note: Sonora is 3-0 against Ontario this year.
The Fury we expected have arrived, better late than never. The Wave will be a good test this weekend.
The Comets powerful homefield advantage was upended by Milwaukee and Ontario.
The Ambush’s hopes for a .500 finish are on life support and it won’t be easy to match last year’s 10-14 record.
Mesquite got a big, big win over the slumping Sockers.
Since December 13, Turlock is 2-0 against Dallas and 0-10 against everyone else.
The Sidekicks have been playing better, but have now lost 10 in a row.
The SeaWolves got to Baltimore late, but the Blast ended the game early with four goals in 73 seconds in the second quarter en route to a 13-3 blowout. Orlando showed fight in their 11-8 loss Saturday in Harrisburg.
Rochester might have missed their only chance to win a game this year after a 6-5 home overtime loss to Baltimore. All eyes will be on their March 22 game against 1-15 Orlando.