Sunday, January 15, 2012

Comets Lose Back and Forth Game with Wings

Last night in the Missouri Comets' game against the Wichita Wings was the epitome of a back and forth game. Neither team scored 2 goals in a row all night, and there was only one lead the entire game that was more than 1 point. Unfortunately for the Comets though, the Wings ended up getting the last goal and getting the 10-9 win in front of over 8,000 fans at the Sprint Center in downtown KC.

The first part of the first half was a fairly uneventful affair as the teams seemed to be feeling each other out. Neither team really created any chances. Just over 7 minutes into the first quarter though, the Comets ended up having to play a man down as Brian Harris got a blue card for a tripping penalty on a 2v1 break. The result of the play also gave the Wings a penalty shootout. Danny Waltman though came up with a big save on Victor Quiroz in the shootout. The good vibes though didn't last long though, as the Wings took advantage of the power play, as Frederico Moojen scored. Moojen had 3 chances at it, firing two shots right at Waltman before his third attempt he turned into the far corner to give the Wings the 2-0 lead. That lead would be the largest either team would have all night. The Comets controlled much of the run of play after the goal, but struggled to get good shots off. Late on in the half though, the Wings tried to clear their end. Geison cut off the clearance with a chest trap, he took one touch and then let loose with a blast from outside the yellow line that wrong footed Sanaldo with it's movement, and the Comets were up 3-2.

Early in the second quarter, the Wings would retake the lead. Less than 2 minutes into the quarter, Fausto fired in a shot past Waltman to reestablish the Wings advantage 4-3. The Comets continued their pressure again but couldn't find a goal. Midway through the half, the Comets got their first power play of the game as Quiroz was sent to the box for tripping. The Comets pressured throughout the penalty but as time wore on, it looked like the Comets wouldn't be able to take advantage of the man advantage. But with only 2 minutes left, the Comets got their goal. Some good ball movement saw the ball go from one side of the field to the other through Leo Gibson to Lucas Rodriguez, who fed Byron Alvarez. Alvarez's first shot was blocked, but he fired his rebound across the middle of the goal. The ball took a deflection past Sanaldo and into the net, putting the Comets back on top.

That lead though would last a grab total of 6 seconds as directly off the kick off, the Wings came right back down the field and scored, with Brian Cushing getting the goal. It's a problem that has plagued the Comets all season, defensive lapses after they've just scored, and again it cost them a goal as the Wings went up 6-5. The Comets though would retake the lead before the end of the half, with some nice build up again. John Sosa played a ball in to Alvarez who had posted up on his defender. Sosa continued his run and received the ball back from Alvarez. Sosa got Sanaldo to commit to him and passed up a good shot for a better one, as he laid the ball off to Vahid Assadpour who passed the ball into the net to go up 7-6 at the break.

Into the third quarter both teams found good chances hard to come by. The Comets though had the better of the chances, forcing some good saves out of Sanaldo. It was the Wings though that grabbed the lead on some poor defense from the Comets. Bryan Perez played a ball over the top to Daniel Villegas. Villegas and a teammate were both back in behind the Comets defense. Villegas collected the ball and slotted it past Waltman to restore the Wings 1 point lead at 8-7.

The fourth quarter saw the Comets pushing for a goal to put them back in front. Early on they were back on the power play as Sanaldo was given a blue card for punching the ball outside the box. Sanaldo tried to argue that he was still inside the box, but the goalkeeper was easily a good foot or two outside his box when he punched it. The Comets though couldn't capitalize on the opportunity. Soon enough though, the Comets did find themselves back on top. Once again it was some nice build up from the Comets as Alvarez was played in behind with Rodriguez in a 2v1 situation. Alvarez slid the ball across to Rodriguez who buried his shot and once again put the Comets on top 9-8. As the half wore down it looked like the Comets might just hand on. But with just under 3 minutes left, right when the Wings were looking to pull their goalkeeper, the Wings found another goal. Kevin Ten Eyck with his back to goal was able to turn and hit a volley that beat Waltman to his far post. So instead of the Wings going with a 6th attacker, it would end up being the Comets that pulled their goalkeeper. With the extra man, the Comets had quite a few chances to retake the lead as Alvarez, Geison, and Rodriguez all had good opportunities blocked on the line. In the end though the Comets couldn't find another goal and the Wings pulled off a big win, 10-9.

The loss dropped the Comets to 9-8, with the Wings are now 5-8. With 4 games in hand on the Comets, the Wings would seem to have a very good chance to try to catch their I-35 rival for the other Central Division playoff spot.

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