Monday, January 16, 2006
By David Deal
Stockton, CA The Philadelphia KiXX (4-5) snapped a two-game losing skid with an 8-5 victory versus the expansion California Cougars (1-12) in the club’s first trip to the Stockton Arena tonight. Midfielder Andy Guastaferro recorded the game winner, his first of two scores versus the sixth attacker at 12:58 of the fourth quarter.
Peter Pappas (4-5) earned the victory in the net for Philadelphia with 13 saves on 18 chances, while Jim Larkin dropped to 1-8 with the Cougars, turning away 10 of the 16 shots he faced.
Philadelphia jumped to a 2-0 advantage over the hosting Cougars after one full period of play thanks to a pair of unassisted goals from defenders Vlatko Andonovski (3:01) and Ptah Myers (13:01). Andonovski began the season in California before being acquired by the KiXX in exchange for forward Gary Brooks on December 28.
Forward John Barry Nusum increased the KiXX lead to three, 3-0, connecting on an unassisted tally at 10:51 of the second quarter. A mere 14 seconds later (11:05), California’s John Ball finally ended the drought for the host team after stealing possession and blasting a score past Pappas.
After over 12 minutes of scoreless action (12:20) in the third stanza, Ato Leone cut the Cougars deficit to one, 3-2, on a feed from teammate Bernie Lilavois. Philadelphia player/assistant coach Kevin Sloan quickly responded with an unassisted notch to regain the club’s two-point advantage, 4-2, at 12:59.
Former KiXX forward Gary Brooks pulled California back within one, 4-3, just 24 seconds into the final quarter of play. Player/Coach Don D’Ambra registered his second power-play goal of the season to put Philadelphia back ahead two, 5-3, on a dish from forward Goran Vasic at 2:01 of the stanza. The KiXX received the one-man advantage courtesy of a two-minute tripping infraction called on Cougars defender Matt Caution. Brooks notched his second score of the evening, a power-play tally at 8:08 of the fourth period, to once again pull California within one, 5-4.
Midfielder Andy Guastaferro provided Philadelphia their largest lead of the night, 7-4, with a pair of unassisted tallies at 12:58 and 13:55 respectively versus the sixth attacker. Forward Enrique Tovar tabbed a goal for the Cougars at 14:34, but Sloan sealed the KiXX victory, 8-5, with his second notch of the contest with only seven seconds remaining (14:53).
*Notes: * Tonight’s contest marked the team’s first trip to Stockton Arena in franchise history. Midfielder Andy Guastaferro registered a season-two goals tonight. Six of the Philadelphia’s seven goals were unassisted. Former KiXX forward Gary Brooks recorded a pair of goals versus his former club; the native of Devonshire, Bermuda was sent to California in exchange for all-star defender Vlakto Andonovski on December 28. Andonovski opened the game’s scoring with his first tally as member of the KiXX.
Philadelphia: 2-1-1-4=8 Shots: 21
California: 0-1-1-3=5 Shots: 19