ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Bolts' first official victory couldn't have been easier -- nor more of a challenge. And it took far longer than it should have.
The Bolts scored the first six goals, then hung on to hand the Turlock Express their first PASL Pro indoor league defeat with a 12-10 decision Friday night in front an announced crowd of 826 at the Anaheim Convention Center's arena.
Enrique Tovar scored four goals and assisted two more, Adriano de Lima added four assists and 42-year-old veteran Paul Wright's importance to the attacking flow was apparent from start to finish for the Bolts (1-2).
The game's start was delayed by a little more than an hour, until just past 9 p.m., because the glass at the attacking ends -- like the glass at hockey rinks -- arrived late from San Diego, where the field is borrowed from the two-time defending league champion Sockers.
The Bolts might like every game to start late.
“They just came out firing, you know what I mean?” Bolts coach Bernie Lilavois said. “They came out great. We've just got to learn to close games out. its the same scenario again. We got it here, but we almost got lucky.”
Patric Ruiz set up de Lima, then tallied 30 seconds later to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead before 4½ minutes were gone, and Tovar and Tomislav Colic scored 19 seconds apart a couple of minutes later. Wright netted a power-play goal just 89 seconds into the second quarter, and Tovar made it 6-0 nearly two minutes after that.
Uriel Robledo scored a hat trick and Jorge Quiroz had four assists for Turlock (4-1), which scored six of the last nine goals but never got closer than two. The Bolts' lapses in concentration enabled the Express to score four of the first five third-quarter goals to make it 9-7, then pull within 11-9 and, with 8:25 to go, within 12-10.
The Bolts' defensive play was solid at the finish, but there's cause for concern.
“That's the last two games against San Diego, that's exactly what happened, and you saw it happen in that same pattern here ...,” Lilavois said. “Definitely something we've got to work on. We start out strong, we have leads in games, and we seem to lose it.”
They led six times in their opener three weeks ago but gave up the final five goals in a 10-6 home loss to the Sockers. A week later, San Diego rallied from a three-goal second-half deficit for a 7-6 overtime victory.
Holding on this time felt good.
“It's a huge weight lifted off our shoulders,” Tovar said. “We start off well, but somehow for some reason we take our foot off the pedal and let them back in the game. We've got to put four quarters together and just blow teams out right fm the start.”