by Pete Richmire

INDEPENDENCE, MO. – The Kansas City Comets (1-0) opened the 2021 Ron Newman Cup Playoffs with an eventful, 7-4 win over the St. Louis Ambush at Cable Dahmer Arena. With the win, Kansas City holds a 1-0 advantage in the Best of 3 series. Kansas City keeper Nicolau Neto notched 13 saves to with an assist in the win.

The lone goal of the first frame came following a flurry of action in front of Ambush keeper Paulo Nascimento. James Togbah got the ball to Rian Marques who initially tried to head the ball in. His initial shot rebounded off the boards and Marques slid his own rebound low past Nascimento for a 1-0 Kansas City lead.

The Ambush picked up the first goal of the 2nd quarter when Tony Walls connected with Vadim Cojocov to level the game 1-1 with 13:21 to go in the half. From that point forward, the Comets controlled the quarter, rattling off five straight goals to take a 6-1 lead to the locker room.

The newly installed Coach’s Challenge video review made its first appearance on the second goal of the quarter. A goal by Leo Gibson was initially waved off as a foul was called on Nacho Flores. After the Comets’ bench initiated the challenge, the call on the field was overturned and Kansas City had a 2-1 lead. Less than a minute later, Ray Lee one-timed a rebound on a shot from Dom Francis past Nascimento for the 3-1 advantage with 9:58 to play in the 2nd.

With just under five minutes to go in the half, Marques reached out with his right foot near the top of the arc to send in his second goal of the game, and it was 4-1 Comets. Again, less than a minute later, Mike DaSilva found James Togbah on a two-on-one breakaway to increase the lead to 5-1 with 4:05 on the clock.

The Ambush used their challenge on the last Kansas City goal of the half. Flores sent a shot off the boards near the right post, which ricocheted off a St. Louis defender for an apparent goal. After the officials determined there was no foul leading up to the goal, the call on the field was upheld and the Comets led 6-1 at the break.

Though the 3rd quarter was eventful with penalties, only one goal was scored, and it came off the foot of Max Ferdinand to cut the Comets lead to four, at 6-2 headed to the final 15 minutes of play.

The Ambush chipped into the Kansas City lead with the first goal of the 4th quarter, courtesy of JT Thomas, assisted by Ferdinand. That made it a 6-3 game with 5:34 to go in the game.

While short-handed following a blue card to Gibson, Matt Lewis used a soft touch across midfield to direct the ball into the open Ambush goal to go up 7-3 with under five minutes to play. Less than 30 seconds after the KC goal, the Ambush netted the final goal of the game on a Felipe Silva marker. With the win, Kansas City will take a 1-0 series lead on the road. Should St. Louis win Game 2 Sunday, a 10 minute mini-game will follow approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 2.

The Comets’ 2021 Ron Newman Cup Playoffs opening round series now shifts to The Family Arena in St. Charles on Sunday March 28 to decide who will advance to the Semi-Final round.  We do not know who will move on, but we do know the Semi-Finals will be held at Cable Dahmer Arena with two games on April 1 and 3. Get your tickets as early as you can by calling (888) 9-COMETS.


1st – KC Marques (Togbah) 11:37. Penalties – None

2nd – STL Cojocov (Walls) 1:39; KC Gibson (Sousa) 4:29; KC Lee (Francis) 5:02; KC Marques (Francis) 10:03; KC Togbah (DaSilva) 10:55; KC Flores (Neto) 13:25. Penalties – None.

3rd – STL Ferdinand (Wells) 2:52. Penalties – STL Gibson blue card (tripping); STL Santos red card (spitting); KC DaSilva blue card (unsportsmanlike conduct) 5:13; STL Almeida blue card (holding) 5:29.

4th – STL Thomas (Ferdinand) 9:26; KC Lewis SH 10:28; STL Silva (Sousa) 10:55. Penalties – KC Flores blue card (contact above the shoulder) 6:54; KC Gibson blue card (handling); KC Neto yellow card (dissent) 12:50.

Shots – Kansas City 4-15-8-4 (31); St. Louis 6-10-3-14 (33)