Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Comets Ride Defense to Playoff Win

For three quarters tonight out at the Independence Event Center, the Missouri Comets held the Milwaukee Wave scoreless. And while the fourth quarter the Comets defense finally gave way, the Comets had just enough offense to hold off the Wave, winning 11-5 and taking the advantage to Milwaukee for the second game of the series on Sunday.

In the first quarter, the Wave came out and tried to stamp their dominance on the game, but it became an example of the entire game. Throughout the half, the Wave dominated the possession creating the best chances. But saves by goalkeeper Danny Waltman, and multiple timely blocks by Brian Harris and other Comets players. The Comets tried to make their mark on the game through the counter attack. Late in the first half the Comets grabbed a surprising lead after a scramble in front of goal. Jamar Beasley, a Wave defender and goalkeeper all scrambled for the ball, Beasley got a bit of a touch on the ball and Byron Alvarez was there to pounce on the ball touching it into the net giving the Comets a 2-0 lead they were able to hold through the end of the quarter.

The Wave continued to be the dominate side for much of the second quarter, but the Comets got a little bit more and created a few more chances. The Wave were able to kill an early power play by the Comets after Jonathan Greenfield got a blue card and a yellow for a high boot on Alvarez. The Comes though couldn't capitalize on the power play though. The blocks and saves kept the Wave out of the net and the Comets doubled their lead with just under 5 minutes left in the half. Alvarez tried to play a 1-2 with Beasley, but Alvarez's return pass was too hard. Lucky for the Comets, Vahid Assadpour was there to fire a shot. The shot hit the post and rebounded right to Assadpour who fired home the rebound to make it 4-0. For the rest of the quarter, the Comets looked the more likely to score, hitting the post and missing just wide. And soon enough they found a third goal. Lucas Rodriguez dribbled into the Wave's third, played a nice ball to the back post for Assadpour. Assadpour's shot headed towards the back post and looked to be headed in. Carlos Olivas stepped in and made sure of it, grabbing the goal to make it 6-0.

In the third quarter, the Wave once again pressed their dominance on the game creating chances but still unable to find the net. The Wave even had two power plays to try to get back in the game, but were unable to find the net on either of those chances as the Comets killed of the penalties.

In the fourth quarter the Comets tried to extend their lead and 6 minutes in they were able to grab a fourth goal off a restart. After the Wave cleared the ball out of their own end, Tiguinho took the resulting restart and fired it in off of a Wave defender and into the net giving the Comets an 8-0 win. After that, the Wave stepped up the pace and 2 minutes after the Comets made it 8-0, the Wave got back in the game thanks to a three point goal from Jonathan Santos. Things looked to be spiraling out of control for the Comets as just over a minute after the Wave made it 8-3, they made it 8-5. As the Comets pushed to extend their lead, they got caught on the break. After a few good chances the entire team got caught up field and the Wave were able to counter on a a 3 on 1 break against Waltman and Marco Terminesi fired the ball over Waltman and into the net getting the Wave to within one goal. With just under 3 minutes left the Wave pulled their keeper looking for their equalizer. The Comets defense held up keeping them from getting a good look at a 3 point shot, while Waltman came up with saves on the ones they did get. With less than 30 seconds left, Assadpour iced the game with a 3 point goal from his own half. Assadpour cleared the ball and it bounced just in front of the yellow line avoiding a violation and bounced into the net to make it 11-5. The goal created the largest cheer I've heard at a Comets game all season.

The Comets now head to Milwaukee for the second game. Should the Comets win that game they head to the finals against Baltimore. If Milwaukee wins the second game then there will be a 15 minute mini game with the winner going to the finals. Good luck to the Comets on Sunday.

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