COMETS COMEBACK EFFORT NOT ENOUGH IN HOME-OPENER LOSS
Despite an impressive comeback effort, the Kansas City Comets fell 10-8 to the Milwaukee Wave in their home-opener. The Wave’s Ian Bennett lead all scorers with 5 points, 4 goals and 1 assist. Anthony Grant earned a hat trick and Leo Gibson tallied 1 goal and 3 assists.
The match was close early on between the longtime Midwestern rivals, until Milwaukee’s Daniel Chamale scored halfway through the first quarter on a pass from Ian Bennett.
The Wave would lead for only 3 minutes, when Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Flores found John Sosa who whizzed a ball past Milwaukee keeper Josh Lemos and into the far top corner of the net.
The Wave’s Alex Bradley answered back before the end of the third quarter, putting Milwaukee back up 2-1 on an assist from Andre Hayne. The first quarter closed with a volley shots from Kansas City, which were all blocked by Wave players.
The Wave pulled ahead further in the second quarter. Milwaukee’s Chad Vandegriffe found Ian Bennett, whose quick shot popped the ball over Brett Petricek. Two minutes later at 6:16, Robert Renaud of the Wave scored unassisted to extend Milwaukee’s lead to 4-1.
The Comets were scoreless for the remainder of the half, entering the locker room down three.
After a relatively quiet second quarter, the game opened up in the third. The ball became a yellow blur against the blue turf, as each team scored 5 goals for a total of 10.
The Wave started the scoring off early, with Ricardinho Sobreira finding Renaud for his second goal of the match. Kansas City’s Ramone Palmer, Leo Gibson and Bryan Perez responded with a shower of shots on goal, but the Comets could not find the net.
Drew Ruggles of Milwaukee was able to chip in a shot on a pass from Marcio Leite, putting the Wave up 6-1. The Wave seemed to have all the momentum until Max Ferdinand introduced Kiel Williams to the arena wall, and received a blue card for boarding.
Kansas City’s patience paid off in the resulting power play, with Williams finding Gibson to cut the score to 6-2. The Comets have a 100 percent power play gaol percentage, converting on all three power play opportunities this season.
Just 20 seconds after the power play goal, Milwaukee’s Bennett notched his second goal of the evening off a pass from Marco Leite. Robert Palmer found Flores in response only 11 seconds later.
After Petricek and Lemos traded impressive saves, Ferdinand found Bennett for a hat-trick-completing goal and making the score 8-3 in favor of the Wave.
The answering goal came exactly one minute later when Ray Lee passed to Williams in the corner, who evaded a defender with a pass to himself off the arena wall before streaking the ball past the Milwaukee Keeper.
Captain Bryan Perez and Bennet exchanged unassisted goals to make the score, and then Gibson found Anthony Grant for the tenth and final goal of the third quarter. Kansas City went into the fourth period down 9-6 to the Wave.
Gibson fond Grant again just one minute into the fourth, putting the Comets within 2. Tensions rose later in the period, and each team had multiple players sent to the penalty box.
The Comets’ penalty-kill squad had to defend multiple power plays in succession, but did so successfully. Kansas City played the final three minutes of the game with 5 players.
Later, Wave keeper Lemos was called for tripping and Kansas City was awarded a penalty shootout. The veteran Gibson calmly drove toward the keeper before passing to Grant at the last minute for the score and the hat trick completion.
The Comets fiery comeback had put them within one--the scoreboard showing 8-9 with just over a minute left in the match.
However, the comeback hopes were dashed by a quick goal from Luan Oliveira on an assist from Leite. The Comets offense could not put together the two goals they needed in the match’s final minute, and so the Wave emerged victorious.
After tonight’s heartbreaking loss, the Comets will be hungry for a win against another longtime Midwest rival as they visit the St Louis Ambush tomorrow. Kickoff will be at 3:05 p.m. CT. Stream the game live on MASL.tv.