by Pete Richmire

INDEPENDENCE, MO. –  The Comets ran their record to a perfect 4-0 to start the 2021-22 season with a 10-4 win over the visiting Milwaukee Wave (0-2-1) in front of 3,009 fans at Cable Dahmer Arena Wednesday night. Kevin Ellis posted a hat-trick, while Lucas Sousa and Rian Marques chipped in with two goals each. Leo Gibson recorded three assists in the winning effort.

It was Milwaukee who got off to the hot start in this one, as rookie Kyle Crain used an assist from Matthew Yang to notch his first career MASL goal with 12:31 still to go in the opening quarter. Just 25 seconds later, Ian Bennett scored his seventh goal of the season on the first of Marcio Leite’s two assists in the game to put the Wave up 2-0 early.

The next four goals in the first quarter belonged to the Comets. Kyle McLagan fed a quick pass to Marques inside the box, who did a quick turn-and-fire with his right foot to cut the Wave lead to 2-1 with 4:29 left in the first.

Marques made it two-straight goals when he followed his own rebound on the left side and beat Milwaukee keeper Matt Perrella to tie the game 2-2. Less than two minutes later, Gibson found a wide-open Ellis on the far right post to give Kansas City the lead for good at 3-2 with 1:26 remaining in the first.

Marques completed his three-point quarter by finding Sousa for the Comets goal to close the first quarter with a 4-2 Kansas City lead.

The teams each scored a goal in the second quarter starting with Crain’s second of the night, giving the forward two goals in two games for the Wave. With the Comets leading 4-3, Milwaukee’s Jonnathan Pachar was sent to the penalty box for holding with 2:14 to go in the half. He didn’t stay in the sin-bin long, however.

It took just one second for John Sosa to score the power-play goal on the restart from the left side. He tucked the ball under the crossbar, just out of the reach of Perrella giving the Comets a 5-3 at halftime.

In the third, with James Togbah serving a two-minute penalty for boarding, the Wave scored a power-play goal of their own to make it just a one-goal lead for Kansas City again, this time at 5-4 with 9:29 to go. That would be Milwaukee’s final goal of the game as the Comets went on a five-goal run to close out scoring.

Ellis completed his hat-trick with the final two goals of the third. The first was assisted by Gibson, and the second was a power-play goal with Ray Lee picking up the assist. Kansas City was in front 7-4 heading into the final quarter of play.

The assist of the game went to Gibson who flicked the ball over his right shoulder to Matt Lewis who settled the ball in the box and found the back of the net to make it 8-4 with 10:23 to play.

With Mario Alvarez on as Milwaukee’s sixth attacker, Nacho Flores picked up an empty-net goal with 5:33 on the clock, making it a 9-4 score. Flores next was the assister on Sousa’s second of the night to reach the 10-4 final.

Comets’ goalkeeper Nicolau Neto stopped 12 shots on his way to his fourth win in four starts for Kansas City.

The same teams will meet on Friday, December 31 at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena at 3:05 pm CT to complete the home-and-home series.


1st – MKE Crain (Yang) 2:29; MKE Bennett (Leite) 2:54; KC Marques (McLagan) 10:31; KC Marques 12:22; KC Ellis (Gibson) 13:35; KC Sousa (Marques) 14:43. Penalties – None.

2nd– MKE Crain (Perrella) 10:09; KC Sosa 12:47 PP. Penalties – MKE Pachar blue card (holding) 12:46.

3rd – MKE Oliveira (Leite) 5:31 PP; KC Ellis (Gibson) 6:10; KC Ellis (Lee) 13:57 PP. Penalties – KC Togbah blue card (boarding) 5:16; MKE blue card served by Gurson (too many men) 13:08

4th – KC Lewis (Gibson) 4:37; KC Flores 9:27 EN; KC Sousa (Gibson) 13:55. Penalties – None.

Shots – Comets 9-6-8-7 (30), Wave 6-10-5-4 (25)

Attendance – 3,009