It was a big night for the Missouri Comets as they set multiple records at the Independence Events Center in their 33-12 rout over the Syracuse Silver Knights. They set a team record for the largest margin of victory since the teams rebirth, with 21. They tied a league record with 3 players recording a hattrick (Byron Alvarez, Geison, and Vahid Assadpour). They set a record for the most points this season so far, the largest margin of victory this season, and with the Knights 12 points the teams set a record for the most combined points this season.
The Comets got the night started off on the right foot as Leo Gibson collected a rebound from a shot by Ryan Junge and fired a 3 pointer into the far corner that Eric Reed in the Knights net didn't see until very late. The 3 point goal put the Comets up less than a minute into the game. Just after 5 minutes into the game, the Knights got as close as they were ever going to get the rest of the night when Daniel Stevens turned in a shot past Danny Waltman to make it 3-2. From there the first quarter was all down hill for the Knights. The Comets controlled the game after the goal, but struggled to find a shot to really test Reed in net. About the midway point in the quarter the Comets restored their 3 point lead though. John Sosa fed Assadpour down the left hand side, his first shot was saved by Reed, the second shot Assadpour fired off Reed and the ball rolled into the net. Assadpour was given the credit for the goal though and the Comets were up 5-2.
Things got worse for the visitors about 20 seconds later, as Waltman collected a shot by the Knights and played a quick outlet to Bato Radoncic, who had gotten in behind the Knights defense. One v one with the goalkeeper, Radoncic fired his shot low into the corner to make it 7-2. A minute and a half later things continued to go worse for the Knights. Tiguinho got his first assist of the night as his shot was spilled by Reed right into the path of Alvarez who just had to tap the ball over the line to increase the Comets lead to 9-2. They still weren't done in the first quarter though as Tiguinho got on the board, although once again likely an own goal, as Tiguinho beat his man down the side and fired a shot off the wall that hit a Knight's defender and went into the net to make it 11-2 with less than a minute left in the first quarter.
The second quarter started much the same way the first ended, with the Comets controlling possession, and under 2 minutes into the quarter it was 13-2. Tiguinho played another ball into the box and it looked as if it was another own goal, but in the end Geison ended up getting the last touch, putting the ball away. The Knights got themselves back on the board just under 5 minutes into the quarter as the Knights finally got some good passing and Cory Elenio found Alex Megson at the back post unmarked for a tap in to make the lead 9.
The Knights continued to push to get back into the game and looked to have a good opportunity as Brian Harris went to the box just past the half way point in the quarter for holding. In the end though the power play back fired on the Knights. The Comets killed the penalty and right out of the box, Harris was fed by Assadpour. Reed came well off his line, but Harris did well to round the keeper and then walked the ball into the net to make it 15-4. Before the half ended, the Knights once again cut into the lead, as Elenio fed Andriy Budnyy on a 2v1 break and Budnyy beat Waltman. Still the Knights struggled to get back into the game, and even another penalty for too many men on the field for the Comets, the Knights struggled on the power play.
The Comets didn't take their foot off the pedal in the second half either. Just over 6 minutes into the half, Tiguinho led a 3v3 break as the Comets countered. Tiguinho danced around his man and then fed the ball to Assadpour. Assadpour's initial shot was saved but once again Reed didn't hold the shot and Assadpour buried the rebound. And immediately after that goal to make it 17-6, the Comets were right back down the field and Radoncic fed Geison for his second of the game to make it 19-6 as the Comets continued to punish the Knights on the counter.
At this point you really started to almost feel sorry for the Knights. And if the next goal for the Comets just made it worse. Harris started the play with a shot from 3 point range that hit Megson in the groin area. With Megson hobbled, Harris was able to collect the rebound, cut past him and feed Alvarez who buried his shot to make it 21-6. Two minutes after Alvarez's second goal, Alvarez finished off his hattrick, and as was the theme all night it came as the Comets got in behind the Knights defense. Alvarez was played behind by Gibson. Alvarez, 1v1 with the keeper made no mistake making it 23-6. The Knights thought they salvaged a little bit of pride when Nelson Santana found net to make it 23-8, but before the 3rd quarter ended, the Comets got 1 more goal, again on the counter as Tiguinho led a 3v1 break. Tiguinho fed Geison who slotted the ball past Reed to complete his hattrick.
In the fourth quarter the Comets seemed content to sit back and continue to hit on the counter as they had started to do in the 3rd quarter. Just over a minute into the quarter, Stevens got his second goal of the game making it 23-10. A little over a minute after that goal though, the Comets had restored their lead off a restart. Tiguinho fed Geison who finished his 4th goal of the game to make it 27-10. Before 6 minutes were gone in the fourth, Assadpour completed his hattrick off an assist from Radoncic. As the Comets continued to sit back, the Knights were their own worst enemies as they missed 3 or 4 chances that should have been put away, but I think the mental factor of being down that much had thrown the Knights off their game as they just couldn't find the net. Before the quarter timeout, the Comets hit the 30 point mark, as Tiguinho beat Reed again to make it 31-10. The Comets had one more goal in them just past the 8 minute mark in the quarter as Harris bundled home his second of the night off a pass from Alvarez. The Knights continued to struggle to finish good chances, one of those actually led to their final goal as a miss on a wide open net by Megson had the ball fall to Elenio who headed in from a tight angle to give the final score of 33-12.
For those that don't want to track all there, here are the Comets stats from tonight.
Tiguinho - 2 goals 5 assists (9 points)
Geison - 4 goals (8 points)
Vahid Assadpour - 3 goals 1 assist (7 points)
Byron Alvarez - 3 goals 1 assist (7 points)
Brian Harris - 2 goals 1 assist (5 points)
Bato Radoncic - 1 goal 3 assists (5 points)
Leo Gibson - 1 goal (3 pointer) 1 assist (4 points)
Ryan Junge - 1 assist (1 point)
John Sosa - 1 assist (1 point)
Danny Waltman - 1 assist (1 point)