by Pete Richmire

ST. CHARLES, MO. –  The Comets (6-1) and Ambush (4-5) swapped leads several times, including in the fourth quarter, but it was St. Louis who went in front late and held on for a 6-5 lead to snap Kansas City’s six-game win streak.

Despite outshooting the Ambush 11-2 in the first quarter, Kansas City and St. Louis were step for step on the scoreboard and they each scored a pair of goals in the opening frame.

St. Louis struck first on Mohamed Ndiaye’s sixth goal of the season, this one assisted by Richard Schmermund to give the Ambush the early 1-0 with 13:43 to play in the first. Before St. Louis could get comfortable with the lead, Rian Marques found Christian Anderaos with a wall-pass in front of a wide-open goal just 18 seconds later to tie the game at 1-1.

The Comets’ first lead of the night came when Ray Lee slid a short pass to Marques following a failed steal attempt by the Ambush and turned to his left and beat Ambush keeper Eduardo Cortes for a 2-1 lead with 7:48 to go in the first.

As the first quarter was winding down, Kansas City took a blue card for too many men and Ndiaye assisted on JT Thomas’ sixth goal of the campaign, this one on the power play and the 2-2 score is how the first quarter came to an end.

Only one goal was scored in the second quarter and this time it was a wall-pass from Matt Lewis to John Sosa, who converted for his sixth of the season with 6:25 on the clock in the first half. The story of the first 30 minutes of play may have been the defense of the Comets, who held St. Louis to just five shots over the first two quarters of play.

Like the second quarter, the third frame would only have one goal as well. It came on the power play for St. Louis following some chaos for the Comets with 6:46 left in the third. James Togbah was issued a blue card for jumping into an opponent, and Lewis was sent off on a yellow card for dissent. While in the box, Lewis was shown a red card for dissent, ending his night and the Ambush went on the power play.

They converted on the man advantage on Thomas’ second goal of the game and bringing St. Louis even at 3-3. That is the score the teams took to the final quarter of play.

The first goal of the fourth quarter was Vadim Cojocov’s ninth of the year for St. Louis, giving the Ambush a 4-3 lead, their first lead since 1:17 into the game. Once again, the lead did not last long.

Sosa, off a restart, slid a pass to Lee, who buried a rocket into the upper-right corner to tie the game at 4-4 with 10:04 remaining.

Just over four minutes later, Marques found Ali Sodal with a pass, and Sodal took a step to his left and sent a laser under the cross bar to give the Comets the lead again, 5-4 with 6:01 left to play. The final two goals of the game, however, belonged to the Ambush.

Ndiaye, who finished the game with five points, secured his fourth on a goal assisted by Ado Jahic with 2:17 on the clock, game tied 5-5. After a blue card to Togbah, and a yellow card to Comets’ keeper Nicolau Neto, St. Louis had another chance on a power play with 1:44 remaining.

16 seconds into the power play, Ndiaye found Tony Walls for the Comets goal and the 6-5 lead, and they held on to win by that margin.

Now, the Comets will look to rebound as they travel to Tacoma to face the Stars on Sunday before returning to Kansas City to play Tacoma at T-Mobile Center on January 22.


1st – STL Ndiaye (Schmermund) 1:17; KC Anderaos (Marques) 13:25; KC Marques (Lee) 7:48; STL Thomas (Ndiaye) 13:13 pp. Penalties – KC (blue- too many men served by Sodal) 11:55.

2nd– KC Sosa (Lewis) 8:35. Penalties – STL Guernsey (yellow- delay of game) 6:22.

3rd – STL Thomas (Ndiaye) 9:09 pp. Penalties – KC Togbah (blue- jumping into opponent) 8:14; KC Lewis (yellow- dissent) 8:14; KC Lewis (red- dissent) 8:14.

4th – STL Cojocov (Jahic) 3:22; KC Lee (Sosa) 4:56; KC Sodal (Marques) 8:59; STL Ndiaye (Jahic) 12:43; STL Walls (Ndiaye) 13:32. Penalties – KC Stokic (yellow- dissent) 8:05; KC Togbah (blue- boarding) 13:16; KC Neto (yellow- dissent) 13:16.

Shots – Comets 12-5-8-16 (41), Ambush 2-3-5-8 (18)

Attendance – 1,519