by Jeff Husted

ST LOUIS (Nov. 24, 2018) – The Kansas City Comets earned a 4-3 comeback win in their only exhibition of the 2018-2019 preseason. With a crowd of approximately 400 on hand (many of whom were Comets fans making the trek across state), the two teams got some valuable experience they can take with them into the season. Several young players saw significant playing time, including Gui Gomes, Mirko Sandivari and James Togbah.

With another exhibition game already in the books for the Ambush, they looked to be the more polished team defensively at the beginning of the match. The Comets controlled the midfield, but couldn’t get their shots to find the frame. St Louis were the only team to actually find a score and took a 1-0 lead into the break.

The Comets answered less than two minutes into the second period on a goal from Bryan Perez. Then new goalkeeper Brett Petricek came up big in keeping the score knotted, making two point-blank saves in the final minutes of the half.

As the second half opened up, goalkeeper Mark Saxby entered the game and immediately showed his growth from last season. Saxby was able to hold his own and find deep outlet passes to young players like Sandivari, and Adam James. The Ambush were able find a score however and made their way into the final period with a 1-3 lead.

Rare preseason fireworks erupted near the end of the third quarter after defender Alain Matingou was called for tripping and sent to the penalty box. He disagreed on the call and was shown an additional yellow card. The penalty box became more crowded as the fourth quarter began after Odaine Sinclair got caught for tripping.

The Comets were able to fend off the Ambush during the first portion of their 5v3 penalty kill, but before Sinclair’s penalty ended, John Sosa was called for charging and the Comets found themselves down two players yet again. This time they were not able to withstand the St Louis charge and fell behind 1-3 with 11:12 to play.

That was enough for the veteran Comets players, mixing in with the young players on the field and coaching from the bench, the Kansas City play elevated from that moment on. Ramone Palmer got the Comets within a goal before Lucas Rodriguez was able to capitalize on an Ambush mistake and tie the game. Then with 1:10 to play, Rodriguez found himself deep in the Ambush attacking zone and passed to a wide open Ramone Palmer for the winning score.