Comets lose shootout to Stars

by Nathan Dunn

INDEPENDENCE, MO (February 9, 2024) — The Kansas City Comets (7-6-3) lost their eighth straight on Friday night as they suffered a defeat against the Tacoma Stars in shootouts after 70 minutes couldn’t separate the two sides at Cable Dahmer Arena.
The Comets came out of the gates on fire when Ramone Palmer and Rian Marques scored to give the Comets a 2-0 lead inside the opening five minutes. The Stars pulled one back through Nani Mendoza to cut the Comets’ lead in half after the first quarter.
Leo Acosta restored the Comets’ two-goal lead, but that was quickly answered with two rapid-fire goals from Tacoma. Roman Torres scored the first 34 seconds after Acosta’s goal. Evan McNeley then scored the equalizer 16 seconds later. Tacoma took a 4-3 lead going into halftime courtesy of a score late in the half from Logan Jones.
Following a scoreless third period, the Comets finally pulled level in the fourth quarter with a strike from Lalo Alonso. After going on the power play, Lucas Sousa broke into the scoresheet to put the Comets back in front 5-4 midway through the final frame.
The game was far from over. The Stars found the equalizer through Jamael Cox with under two minutes left in regulation to extend the game to overtime. The Stars outshot the Comets 5-1 in the overtime period, but neither team was able to find the sudden-death winner to set up the first shootout in MASL this season.
Both teams failed to convert their first two shootout attempts until Lucas Sousa put all the pressure on Tacoma’s Mendoza in round three. Despite the pressure, the 21-year-old was smooth as he converted his attempt to keep his team in it. Following a Comets miss in round four, Mendoza stepped up once again and slotted it in to deliver the shootout loss to the Comets. 
The Comets picked up a point in their second consecutive match, but that is only a consolation as the Baltimore Blast won in regulation to edge close to the fourth-place spot. Throughout this stretch, head coach Stefan Stokic has been disappointed at his team’s scoring efficiency as the Comets outshot the Stars 38-25 and still only scored five times in 70 minutes.
“I still believe in what we have,” Stokic said. “I just feel that getting back is 10 times harder for us. The ball isn’t bouncing our way and some decisions are going the wrong way. Everything is against us right now. If we are able to fight this off, we will be 10 times stronger.”
The Comets are back in action Saturday when they host another Western Conference foe in the Empire Strykers. Tickets are available at
1st – KC RaPalmer (Vandegriffe) 2:21; KC Marques (Acosta) 4:09; TAC
Mendoza (Keitz) 11:24. Penalties – None.
2nd – KC Acosta (Marques) 2:03; TAC Torres (unassisted) 2:37; TAC
McNeley (Na) 9:21; TAC Jones 12:08. Penalties – None.
3rd – None. Penalties — KC Gibson (bc- boarding) 12:12; KC Gibson (yc-
dissent) 12:12.
4th – KC Alonso (Marques) 4:11; KC Sousa (Sosa) 6:42; TAC Cox (Ramos)
13:30. Penalties – TAC Torres (bc- boarding) 6:39.
Power Play – Comets 1/1, Tacoma 0/1
Penalty Minutes – Comets 7, Tacoma 2
Fouls – Comets 22, Tacoma 17
Shots – Comets 38, Tacoma 25
Attendance – 4,523