Comets washed away by Tropics

by Nathan Dunn

The Kansas City Comets (9-8-4) came storming back in the fourth quarter but had their four-goal comeback bid fall short to the Florida Tropics (10-7-3) on Saturday evening as they suffered a 6-5 defeat at Cable Dahmer Arena.

Trailing by four goals in the fourth quarter, the Comets came mightily close to finding the equalizer in the dying seconds but were unable to find the game-tying sixth goal.

Florida opened the scoring inside the first five minutes of the game when Vini Dantas nabbed his 15th goal this season. Dantas turned along the boards and fired from distance.

The Tropics led 2-0 at halftime after Julio Varela scored 9:36 into the second quarter. Florida quickly converted after forcing the Comets into a turnover inside their own half.

Ricardo Diegues made it 4-0 when he opened the third quarter with two goals inside the opening three minutes.

The Comets finally got on the board when Lalo Alonso scored his first of the season. Lucas Sousa picked up the loose ball and played it to the left for Alonso to fire in from inside the arc.

Less than a minute later, the Tropics responded as Varela scored his second of the contest, assisted by Kiel Williams. Williams managed to get the ball through traffic to a wide-open Varela, who smashed the ball into the top corner.

The Comets pulled one back when Ray Lee put his name on the scoresheet to make it 5-2. Lee received a pass from Nacho Flores along the boards before setting up to send a left-footed blast to the top corner.

The Comets cut the lead down to two when John Sosa found Lucas Sousa’s head from a dangerous restart. With so much pace on the ball, all Sousa had to do was redirect it on the frame.

Florida added another when Mike Jones made it 6-3, taking the sails out of the Comets with 10:30 remaining in the contest. Jones nicely tucked away the finish on a pass from Victor Parreiras.

The Comets were not done yet as the addition of the sixth attacker in the final minutes proved vital. The Comets made it 6-4 on the power play when Sousa scored his second of the night with 2:59 left to play when he showed valiant determination to throw his leg at the ball for his 19th goal this season.

Leo Gibson got the Comets within one when he scored the 299th regular season goal of his Comets career, turning and popping a pass from Lee in the air before smashing it into the top corner.

With 1:04 remaining, the Comets were pounding on the door but were unable to find the elusive equalizer.

The Comets dropped to fifth place in the Eastern Conference, but have the opportunity to climb the table on Sunday when they visit the Baltimore Blast.

The most significant difference between the two sides was offensive efficiency. The Comets scored just five goals on 58 shots while the Tropics scored six times on 14 shots.

The Comets return home on Sunday, March 26 when they welcome the Harrisburg Heat to Cable Dahmer Arena for the regular season home finale. Tickets are available at


1st – FLA Dantas 4:20. Penalties — None.

2nd – FLA Varela (Carvalho) 9:36. Penalties — None.

3rd – FLA Diegues (Oliveira) 0:49; FLA Diegues (Carvalho) 2:51; KC Alonso (Sousa) 6:47; FLA Varela (Williams) 7:06. Penalties — None.

4th – KC Lee (Flores) 0:45; KC Sousa (Sosa) PP 1:35; FLA Jones (Parreiras) 4:30; KC Sousa (Gibson) 12:01; KC Gibson (Lee) 13:55. Penalties — FLA Diegues (bc- tripping) 1:23; KC Garza (yc- major penalty) 8:29; FLA Ruggles (bc- handling) 9:10.

Power Play – Comets 1/2, Milwaukee 0/1

Penalty Minutes – Comets 5, Florida 4

Fouls – Comets 9, Florida 13

Shots – Comets 58, Florida 14

Attendance – 4,355