by Pete Richmire

ONTARIO, CA. – The Comets (10-4-1) arrived in Ontario even shorter staffed than they were on Friday and faced the Fury (8-4-2) with assistant coach Stefan Stokic activated as a player for the game. With several key players unavailable for the game, Comets’ owners Brian Budzinski and Jamie Poulsen coached the team while Stokic was in uniform. The first half was close, but Ontario went on a run in the second to win 8-5 at Toyota Arena.

Kansas City pocketed both first-quarter goals, starting with a John Sosa wall-pass to Adam James who fired a shot that snuck between Ontario goalkeeper Chris Toth and the post for a 1-0 lead with 12:13 to go in the opening frame. The second goal was from a tough angle as Rian Marques took a pass from Lesia Thetsane and went low to the far post to make it a 2-0 Kansas City lead after the first quarter.

The Fury answered with a pair of goals in the first three minutes of the second quarter, first from Juan Topete, and then Franck Tayou to even the game at 2-2 with 12:08 remaining in the half.

The Comets went back in front by a goal after Justin Stinson was sent off for two minutes for tripping giving Kansas City a power play. It lasted exactly two seconds as Sosa fed Ray Lee the restart and he buried it for a 3-2 lead with 10:46 to go in the second.

The final goal of the first half for the Comets was opportunistic when the Fury turned the ball over just outside of their defensive zone and Ali Sodal picked it up and beat Toth for a 4-2 Comets lead with 9:24 to go in the second quarter.

Ontario cut the margin to one at the half with a goal from Jorge Deleon assisted Alan Perez and at the break, it was a 4-3 Kansas City lead.

To start the third quarter, Ontario put together three goals in quick succession. Robert Palmer, Deleon, and Israel Sesay found the back of the net in less than a minute to give the Fury a 6-4 lead with 12:55 to go in the third.

Ontario continued their goal streak with the first two of the fourth quarter. Goncalves and Palmer tallied markers to give the Fury an 8-4 lead with just 2:04 to play.

The final goal of the game was a Marques to Nacho effort with less than a minute to go in the game, reaching the 8-5 final.

The Comets will now return to Cable Dahmer Arena where they will kick off a weekend home-and-home series with the Dallas Sidekicks on Friday, March 4. Game time is set for 7:00 pm.


1st – KC James (Sosa) 2:47; KC Marques (Thetsane) 8:47. Penalties – KC Sandivari (yellow- injured player illegal return) 4:47; KC Flores (blue-tripping) 14:49.

2nd – ONT Topete (Toth) 0:16 pp; ONT F. Tayou (Pacheco) 2:52; KC Lee (Sosa) 4:14 pp; KC Sodal 5:36; ONT Deleon (Perez) 11:17. Penalties – ONT Stinson (blue- tripping) 4:12; ONT Topete (blue- tripping) 7:21.

3rd – ONT Palmer (Goncalves) 1:22; ONT Deleon 1:37; ONT Sesay (Hernandez) 2:05. Penalties – ONT Mansaray (blue- tripping).

4th – ONT Goncalves (Toth) 7:19; ONT Palmer (F. Tayou) 12:56 12:56; KC Flores (Marques) 14:19. Penalties – KC Abreu (blue- pushing) 5:10; KC Abreu (blue- boarding) 7:38; KC Sosa (yellow- dissent) 10:29.

Power Play – Comets 1/3, Ontario 1/3

Shots – Comets 28, San Diego 42

Attendance – 1,434