The San Diego Sockers, 1-0 in the playoffs, bring the 2022 Ron Newman Cup playoffs to San Diego Sunday against the Milwaukee Wave.
The Sockers (23-0-1) extended their overall win streak to 21 games in their post-season opener Thursday, a 9-2 win, while improving to 13-0 on the road this season.
Tavoy Morgan had a pair of goals to begin the quarterfinal round, as did Kraig Chiles, along with an assist. Leonardo de Oliveira had two assists and a goal, and Boris Pardo anchored a dominant defensive effort with 17 saves.
In addition, his teammates combined to block eighteen shots, including six for Cesar Cerda.
The Sockers lead the best-of-3 series 1-0, and return to Pechanga Arena for the second match, set for 5:05 p.m. Sunday.
San Diego, which posted the MASL’s best record this season, were matched with the Wave (10-12-1), the eighth seed, yet Milwaukee proved plucky in the early going of Game 1. The team out-shot the Sockers 11-2, but thanks to the Sockers’ defensive discipline, including Pardo going 5-for-5 on saves, the Wave came up empty.
The Sockers got only one shot on goal in the quarter, but it was all they needed. Consecutive cross passes freed up Morgan in the middle, and Brandon Escoto’s centering feed found the target for a 1-0 lead at 3:43.
San Diego added three goals each in the second and third quarters and two to close the match.
Mario Alvarez scored for Milwaukee at 2:56 of the third quarter and teammate Ian Bennett, the MASL’s leading scorer, extended his goals streak to 29 consecutive games with a power-play goal in the game’s final minute, to make the score 9-2.
The Wave had won three straight entering the playoffs.
In addition to playoff action, the Sockers will support relief efforts in war-torn Ukraine Sunday, accepting donations of used clothing for refugees and hosting a silent auction. A portion of proceeds from sales of Sockers gear also will be donated to the cause.