Graphic courtesy of our friends @IndoorSoccerNwz
With all but two games in the books in the MASL2 North Division, your Raptors now control their own playoff destiny after a big win against the Rochester Lancers 2 on Saturday night in the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
Your hometown team was fired up as they banged home five straight goals to open the contest. Rochester didn't get on the board until halfway through the third period, when a scrum around the net let in a goal from Konrad Zydowicz. Your Raptors answered early in the next period, however, and despite an all-out effort from the Lancers -- who played with an extra attacker for most of the period -- the Cedar Rapids side triumphed, 7-4.
Offensively, defender Lionel Melicki notched his first goal of the season, and forward Will Davis returned to the scoresheet with his fourth of the year. Pat Kelly knocked in the game's first goal at even strength and assisted the a powerplay, where he's consistently been among the league's leaders. Angelo Oquendo added two points, scoring once on a nice pass from Sergei Wawrzyniak, and feeding Ayo Adebayo for Adebayo's sixth goal on the season. Team captain Jake Johnson had a stellar night, doubling his season goal total by scoring twice -- once on a nice pass from Pat Kelly during a power play, and once on a feed from Ricky Orozco (who also assisted on Davis's goal). Tenacious defender Sarrive Rukakiza assisted on Melicki's goal, recording his first point on the year. He also had a heartbreaking moment, going coast to coast after intercepting a Lancers' pass, only to have the goal waved off by the officials.
Angelo Oquendo talks about his performance in Saturday's big win
Saturday also marked the return of veteran GK Brett Petricek, taking over in net for the injured Jesus "Chuy" Ortiz. An experienced keeper who has played with several M1-level teams, Petricek was dominant on Saturday, allowing just four goals against a Rochester attack that has averaged over seven per game. He was helped by a strong outing from the defense, who have played well in both games since the team's road loss in Muskegon.
With your Raptors' victory and Rochester's next-day loss to the Des Moines Demon Hawks, the North Division playoff spot comes down to this weekend's matchup in Rochester. Because teams receive three points for a win in regular time, two for an overtime win, and one for an overtime loss, your Raptors will have to win at least one game in regulation to advance to the playoffs. Should we win one in overtime, or lose both, the Lancers 2 will clinch the division.
We'll have a preview of this weekend's must-see playoff action coming up soon. Stay tuned!