by Pete Richmire

INDEPENDENCE, MO. –  The Comets opened the 2021-22 season with a home-and-home series with the St. Louis Ambush and completed the sweep with an 11-6 win at Cable Dahmer Arena Saturday night. Leo Gibson and Kevin Ellis each netted hat tricks in the win, while John Sosa and James Togbah chipped in with two goals apiece.

It was a game of streaks, with each team stringing together at least four goals at a stretch. Kansas City was the first to go on a run beginning with Sosa opening scoring off a restart for a 1-0 Comets lead. Both teams’ power plays were effective tonight and Ellis notched the first extra-man goal following the first of three blue cards to St. Louis keeper Josue Mazon. Less than a minute later, Ray Lee sent a pass to Togbah who scored the Comets’ third goal of the first quarter.

After Richard Schmermund was whistled for holding in the box and the Comets were awarded a shoot-out opportunity, Sosa took full advantage of the chance and gave Kansas City a 4-0 lead with 6:23 still to play in the frame.

The Comets stretched their lead further when Lesia Thetsane slid a pass across the box to Nacho Flores, who was wide-open on the far post. He sent it home for a 5-0 advantage with 4:54 on the clock.

St. Louis stopped the Comets’ streak with the first of two goals in the game from Ado Jahic and it was a 5-1 Kansas City lead. The quarter would end with a 6-1 tally following Gibson’s first of the night after he was sent a pass from Sosa on a restart.

If the first quarter belonged to Kansas City, the second quarter was all Ambush, and they rattled off four unanswered goals to make it a 6-5 Comets lead at the break. Three of the goals were scored on the power play by a St. Louis team which was 3-for-6 on the night with a Comets player in the penalty box.

Robert Kiristo scored for the Ambush on an assist from Schmermund just 14 seconds into the quarter. Then, JT Thomas, Mo Ndiaye, and Triston Austin scored the power play goals in succession for the Ambush to close out the first half.

It was Kansas City’s turn again. The next five goals went to the home team with the first coming on another shoot-out chance after Mazon drew his second blue card of the game. Ellis converted to give Kansas City a two-goal cushion again and the Comets finished 4-for-5 on the power play during the game.

Togbah picked up his second goal of the game after Mazon came off his line to challenge a breakaway. Mazon tripped Togbah, who regained his balance and scored on the play for a 10-5 lead with 9:43 to go in the game. As a result of the play, Mazon was issued his third blue-card of the game and the resulting red card leading to his ejection. Chris Favela entered the game as his replacement.

Favela was not in goal for Kansas City’s next goal as the Ambush had gone with a sixth attacker when Absalom Solorio connected with Gibson for the Comets’ final goal and an 11-5 lead with 6:42 to go.

The final marker of the game was Jahic’s second of the night, this one assisted by Austin with just 44 seconds to play to reach the 11-6 final.


1st – KC Sosa 2:31; KC Ellis (Lee) 5:54 PP; KC Togbah (Lee) 6:53; KC Sosa 8:37 SO; KC Flores (Thetsane) 10:06; STL Jahic 11:19; KC Gibson (Sosa) 14:27. Penalties – STL Mazon blue card (tripping) 5:23; STL Schmermund blue card (holding) 8:36.

2nd – STL Kristo (Schmermund) 0:14; STL Thomas (Kristo) 5:14 PP; STL Ndiaye (Carvalho) 5:14 PP; STL Austin (Jahic) 14:40 PP. Penalties – KC McLagan blue card (tripping) 3:46; KC Togbah blue card (tripping) 5:37; KC Palmer blue card (contact above the shoulder) 10:55; KC Palmer yellow card (major penal penalty) 10:55; KC Lee blue card (4 fouls) 12:55.

3rd – KC Gibson (Sosa) 14:36; KC Ellis (Gibson) 14:59 PP. Penalties – STL Schmermund blue card (pushing) 14:48.

4th – KC Ellis 2:43 SO; KC Togbah 5:17; KC Gibson (Solorio) 8:18; STL Jahic (Austin) 14:16. Penalties – STL Mazon blue card (handling) 2:40; Togbah blue card (boarding) 3:01; STL Mazon blue card (tripping) 5:17; STL Mazon red card (blue card accumulation); KC Thetsane blue card (contact above the shoulder) 14:16.

Shots – Comets 14-2-14-7- 37, Ambush 4-16-5-15-40

Attendance – 2,577