by Pete Richmire

SAN DIEGO, CA. – The Comets (9-6-4) took the field for the final time during the regular-season at Pechanga Arena San Diego and used a masterful second half where they blew open what was a 1-1 game at halftime to rout the Sockers (14-3-0) 9-4 on Sunday evening.

Each team managed to tally one goal in the first half with the Sockers opening the scoring off the foot of their captain Kraig Chiles, his 17th of the season to give San Diego a 1-0 lead which was the score headed into the second quarter.

After the Comets killed a Sockers’ power play, Lucas Sousa sent a pass into the box where Rian Marques flicked it past Boris Pardo with a back heel to tie the game at 1-1 with 6:51 to go in the opening half.

The second half was a different story altogether as the Comets outscored the Sockers 8-3 beginning with Nicolau Neto connecting with Sousa to give Kansas City their first lead at 2-1 with 12:54 left in the third.

Following a flurry of cards shown to both teams, two yellows and a blue to the Sockers and a blue to the Comets, San Diego leveled the game at 2-2 on a four vs four goal by Tavoy Morgan with 8:46 remaining in the quarter.

Kansas City benefitted from San Diego receiving three cards and wound up with a mini power play which they converted on when Leo Acosta sent a wall-pass to Marques, who fired a rocket past Pardo for his second goal of the game and a 3-2 lead.

That lead was short-lived though, as Morgan scored for the second time in less than two minutes for the Sockers and they tied the game for the final time and it was 3-3 with 6:47 left in the third frame.

Kansas City scored three more times in the quarter including goals by Ramone Palmer, Ray Lee, and Sousa’s second of the game to take a 6-3 lead into the final 15 minutes of play.

The Sockers netted the first goal of the fourth quarter on a penalty kick by Chiles to cut the Comets’ lead to just two at 6-4 with 13:38 to go in the game. That would be as close as the Sockers would get.

Three more Kansas City goals began with Marques’ third of the game as he won a battle with Pardo on the boards to make the score 7-4 with less than five minutes to play.

Robert Palmer and Zach Reget found an empty net in the final two minutes to hand the Sockers the five-goal home loss.

The Comets will stay in Southern California to battle the Empire Strykers on Wednesday before returning home to face the Ambush on March 2. Get your tickets for the big game against St. Louis at before they sell out. It’s the final home game of this season’s I-70 Series!