Kazeem lifts Comets past Ambush

by Nathan Dunn

The Kansas City Comets (6-4-4) defeated the St. Louis Ambush (4-7-1) by a final score of 6-5 thanks to a fourth-quarter brace from rookie forward Junior Kazeem in another tight I-70 Series battle Saturday evening in front of 4,629 fans at Cable Dahmer Arena.

Kazeem was the man of the hour after scoring the equalizer and the game-winning goal in the fourth quarter in just his second appearance this season.

St. Louis opened the scoring midway through the first quarter when Lucas Almeida scored unassisted, finding the corner of the net after pouncing on a rebound from near the penalty spot.

Lucas Sousa supplied the first response of the evening for the Comets, firing a shot with just enough pace to overpower St. Louis goalkeeper Paulo Nascimento to level the score at 1-1 before the end of the first period.

The Ambush went back in front early in the second quarter as Almeida was rewarded for his pressure on Comets goalkeeper Nicolau Neto for the only score of the second quarter.

Once again, the Comets found the equalizer. This time it was Milos Vucic, who opened his scoring account this season with a shot blasted high into the net.

The Comets went on to add two more goals with efforts from Ray Lee and Sousa, putting the Comets in control of the match with a 4-2 advantage midway through the third period.

That all changed when the Ambush countered the Comets with three goals unanswered. Goals from Pepe Junqueira, Duduca Carvalho and William Eskay put the visitors in front 5-4 with just one quarter remaining.

The fourth quarter was the Junior Kazeem show. The rookie leveled the score at 5-5 nearly four minutes into the final period after he collected a pass from Mike Da-Silva and slipped the ball under an onrushing Nascimento.

After St. Louis initiated a video review for a confrontation between the two sides, tensions were raised. The Comets went up 6-5 with 37.8 seconds left on the clock when Kazeem snatched the go-ahead goal when he pounced on a rebound to send Cable Dahmer Arena into pandemonium.

The Comets held on for the 6-5 win to take the season series against the Ambush 4-2 and remain in third place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Both goalkeepers had some important saves throughout Saturday's contest with Neto making 21 saves and picking up his sixth win this season. Nascimento finished with 14 saves and his fifth loss.

The Comets are back in action on Friday, February 10 when they take on the Florida Tropics. Tickets are available at www.kccomets.com.


1st – STL Almeida 7:10; KC Sousa (Flores) 11:06. Penalties — KC Banton (bc-Tripping) 7:17.

2nd – STL Almeida 3:34. Penalties — None.

3rd – KC Vucic (Lee) 2:43; KC Lee (Flores) 4:45; KC Sousa (Sodal) 7:46; STL Junqueira (Berry) 9:17; STL Carvalho (Berry) 10:21; STL Eskay (Carvalho) 12:47. Penalties — KC Kazeem (yc-Severe unsportsmanlike manner) 7:46.

4th – KC Kazeem (Da-Silva) 3:51; KC Kazeem (Lee) 14:25. Penalties — KC Da-Silva (bc-Charging) 1:42; STL Jahic (bc-Holding) 14:44.

Power Play – Comets 0/1, St. Louis 0/2

Penalty Minutes – Comets 9, St. Louis 2

Fouls — Comets 20, St. Louis 14

Shots – Comets 30, St. Louis 36

Attendance – 4,629