by Bill Norris

The Ontario Fury, Driven by Mark Christopher Chevrolet, put its playoff destiny in its own hands with an impressive 9-4 victory over the Tacoma Stars on Thursday at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Ontario now leads Tacoma by a game-and-a-half with two games remaining. Tacoma plays Friday night in Turlock, and then has a rematch with Ontario next Friday at accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash. A win next Friday by the Fury would clinch the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division. Even if Tacoma loses in Turlock, the Stars would have a chance to tie the Fury and hold the tiebreaker in the standings.

The Fury fell behind first, as Taylor Bond scored the first of his two goals on the night 6:47 into the game, but Israel Sesay answered for the Fury just 1:18 later, as he took a pass from Chico Francisco Cordeiro and beat Danny Waltman just under the crossbar.

The teams traded the lead twice in the first and second quarter, with the Fury finally taking the lead for good with 2:09 remaining in the half. Thiago Goncalves got a pass from Cordeiro and shot it past Waltman to give the Fury a 4-3 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the Fury took control, dictating the run of play. They extended their lead to 6-3 thanks to goals from Cordeiro and Juan Carlos Gonzalez. The Fury added three more in the final quarter, two into Tacoma’s vacated net to seal the victory.

Cordeiro finished the game with three goals and two assists, while Gonzalez had two goals and an assist. But the star of the game was Sesay. Tasked with shadowing Tacoma’s top scorer, forward Nick Perera, he held the former Ontario player off the scoresheet, frustrating him throughout the night. Sesay ended the game with three blocked shots and several steals that helped the Fury slow Tacoma’s attack.

Ontario travels north to Tacoma with a chance to clinch a postseason berth next Friday, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. The game can be watched live online at MASL.tv.

The Fury will then close out the season at 7 p.m. March 1 at Citizens Business Bank Arena against the San Diego Sockers. It will be Fan Appreciation Night, and a possible playoff preview game. Tickets for the game are available at the Citizens Business Bank Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com or through the Fury’s offices by calling 909-457-0252.

Season tickets for the 2018-19 season are also now available. Season ticket packages come with the same seat for all 12 of the Fury’s regular season home games starting next December, along with great perks for season seat holders. For information, contact the Fury’s offices at 909-457-0252.