by Pat Clifton

KANSAS CITY (Feb. 3, 2020) – The Kansas City Comets host the Harrisburg Heat Thursday, 7:05 p.m. at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. Having won three of their last four, the Comets (6-6) find themselves in the thick of a playoff race midway through the season, and Harrisburg is one of the teams standing between them and a ninth postseason berth in 10 seasons. 

If they started at the time of publication, the Heat (9-4) would be the fourth and final team from the Eastern Conference to qualify for the playoffs. Sunday is the only meeting between the Comets and Heat this season. 

The only common opponent between Kansas City and Harrisburg thus far is winless Rochester (0-13). The Heat have beaten the Lancers six times this season by an average score of 10-4. The Comets are 1-0 against Rochester, having beaten them 12-4 Jan. 26.

Both teams feature impressive attacking duos. Kansas City’s features head coach Leo Gibson, who leads the league in points with 38. The reigning MASL Player of the Week for his six goals against Rochester, Gibson is flanked up front by Kevin Ellis, who won the same accolade earlier this season for a five-goal performance against Orlando. 

Harrisburg’s dynamic duo is led by Dominic Francis. His 22 goals is good for fifth-best league-wide. Often assisting him is Daniel Villela, whose 15 assists see him one behind Gibson on the league’s leader board. The Heat are also bolstered by the impressive play of newcomer Tavoy Morgan.  

Thursday’s clash is Kansas City’s first of two in three days. Saturday they travel to Milwaukee to take on the defending champion Wave for the fourth time, the penultimate match of a five-game season-long series. 

The Comets are hoping to have the skills of Ramone Palmer at their disposal for the first time this season Thursday. The scintillating attacker has been awaiting his visa, and is now just waiting for final clearance from the league office.