by Pete Richmire

ST. CHARLES, MO. –  The Comets were on the road at The Family Arena Friday night to open the 2021-22 season and picked up the win by a 6-4 final against their in-state rival St. Louis Ambush. Ray Lee and Leo Gibson each notched two goal in the win, while Nicolau Neto stopped 14 shots for the Comets.

The lone goal of the opening quarter came courtesy of Mo Ndiaye who sent home a pass off the wall from JT Thomas with 3:43 left to go in the 1st. The Comets had a power play opportunity in the frame early when Ndiaye was whistled for tripping, but the Ambush penalty-killers stopped the Comets with the man-advantage.

Kansas City leveled the game on an unassisted goal on a restart following a St. Louis foul. He sent a rocket past Ambush keeper Josue Mazon with 10:33 to go in the half. After Comets Head Coach/Player Gibson was sent to the penalty box for tripping, the Ambush took just 20 seconds to secure the power play goal from JT Thomas to go up 2-1 with 9:34 on the clock.

The Comets answered on Lee’s first goal of the night, a shot that hit Mazon but trickled in on the left side for a 2-2 score. The half ended even and with the teams playing 4-on-4 following blue cards to each team. Howard Miller Jr for St. Louis, and Kevin Ellis were each cited for tripping late in the quarter.

Gibson’s first goal of the game came on a shot from just outside the box as Nacho Flores ran through the box, screening Mazon perfectly to give Kansas City a 3-2 lead with 11:23 to go in the quarter.

With 1:29 remaining in the 3rd, Nick McDonald was whistled for handling in the box and St. Louis was awarded a shoot-out. Ndiaye converted without moving forward and the game was once again even, now 3-3. It was Kansas City’s turn again and they took just 20 seconds to answer the Ambush goal as Kyle McLagan put the Comets up 4-3, and the teams headed to the final quarter with that score.

Tonight’s game featured just about every type of goal, and it was a short-handed goal from Cojocov, assisted by Thomas on a 2-on-none breakaway which tied the game for the final time with 10:42 to play.

The Comet’s took the lead for good later in the power play when Gibson sent home his own rebound for his second goal of the night, and a 5-4 lead.

The Ambush pulled Mazon and Pepe Junqueira donned the sixth-attacker jersey, leading to the Comets’ final goal of the game. Lee was inside the yellow line on Kansas City’s defensive third and sent a shot the length of the field into an empty net to reach the 6-4 final.

These same teams will meet tomorrow as the home-and-home series heads west to Cable Dahmer Arena with a 6:00 pm start.


1st – STL Ndiaye (Thomas) 11:17. Penalties – STL Ndiaye blue card (tripping) 6:29

2nd – KC Sosa 4:27; STL Thomas (Ndiaye) 5:26 PP; KC Lee (Gibson) 8:33. Penalties – KC Gibson blue card (tripping) 5:05; STL Miller blue card (tripping) 13:22; KC Ellis blue card (tripping) 14:31.

3rd – KC Gibson (Flores) 3:37; STL Ndiaye 13:31 SO; KC McLagan 13:51. Penalties – KC McDonald blue card (handling) 13:31; STL Cojocov yellow card (unsportsmanlike manner)13:51.

4th – STL Cojocov (Thomas) 4:18 SH; KC Gibson 5:28 PP; KC Lee 13:33 EN. Penalties – STL Nyamsi blue card (kicking) 3:58.

Attendance – 3,362