Ironmen Protect Turf in Much-Needed Victory
Neto found the back of the net for the 100th time in his career (Photo by Rich Graessle)
Newark, N.J. (Thursday, February 19, 2009) – The fight in the New Jersey Ironmen (5-7) was strong tonight at Prudential Center, with the team pulling out a 13-4 victory over the reeling Chicago Storm (3-8). Forward Adauto Neto booted in his 100th career regular season goal in the contest, and the XSL standings will continue to remain interesting after the New Jersey win.
After Ironmen honorary captain Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi put the first kick into play in the opening ceremonies, Chicago struck first with midfielder Andy Rosenband netting a two-pointer at 1:36 of the opening frame. Neto then hit a game equalizing deuce for New Jersey at 9:25 in what was career number 100 in the regular season for the Brazilian striker. The first quarter concluded with a Freddy Moojen goal at 13:08, and the Storm led 4-2.
Newly reacquired forward Shaun David made good on Neto assist 56 seconds into the second period, and defenses then prevailed as the two sides headed into intermission knotted at four each.
The Ironmen gained their first advantage of the evening when a well-prepared Rey Martinez pounded home a deflected attempt by playmaker Goran Vasic at 13:34 of the third stanza, and the home team headed into the final 15 minutes of regulation up by a tally of 6-4.
As the fourth quarter began to heat up, XSL points leader Lucio gave New Jersey a little breathing room, 8-4, after hammering a rebounded shot past Storm netminder Jeff Richey at 3:11 with Vasic on the helper. With only a few minutes remaining in the match-up, Chicago headman Steve Morris pulled Richey in favor of the sixth attacker. The Ironmen took advantage, with Lucio banging a long triple and a Vasic to Tiguinho notch hanging the final 13-7 count.
New Jersey will now take to the road for a three-game swing before returning home on Sunday, March 22nd, to host the Milwaukee Wave for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff. Their next contest will be played on Sunday, February 28th, in Detroit against the Ignition.