Friday, February 24, 2012

Poor Third Quarter Dooms the Comets

The Comets saw their 5 game winning streak snapped tonight at the Independence Events Center as a poor 3rd quarter doomed the Comets to a 15-14 loss to the Wave. In the first quarter, the Wave were the more aggressive side, pushing the game on the Comets, but were not able to find the net early on. The Comets had their chances as well, but they to couldn't get a goal. With just over 5 minutes left in the quarter, the Wave got on the board first, as Nicolas Perera cut inside on his defender and fired a shot past Danny Waltman to give Milwaukee the 2-0 lead. After grabbing the lead though, the Wave seemed to concede more of the field, and the Comets started to take advantage, and with just over 12 minutes played, got the score level. Lucas Rodriguez did a good job of splitting the defense with a nice pass and Geison fired the shot past Marcel Feenstra.

Shortly after the goal, the Comets found themselves on the power play, as Jonathan Greenfield was blue carded for boarding on Cristiano. A little over 20 seconds later, the Comets capitalized on the power play. Off a restart, Tiguinho fed a pass to Rodriguez, whose low shot 5 holed Feenstra and gave the Comets the lead at the end of 1 quarter, 4-2.

The second quarter saw the Wave working to get back into the game, but Waltman, as he has been doing a lot lately was coming up with quite a few big saves to keep the Comets in the lead. As the quarter wore on, the frustration for Milwaukee started to come out as they picked up foul after foul. The Comets themselves also had some chances, but Feenstra made some good saves himself in his goal. With just under 4 minutes to play in the quarter, the Comets started firing in rapid succession. The first to strike was Byron Alvarez. Waltman collected a weak shot from the Wave and immediately played an outlet pass to Alvarez. The ball went over his defenders head and Alvarez went to goal, he let the ball bounce one more time than fired a volley that beat Feenstra and made it 6-2 Comets. Less than a minute later, the Comets were up 8-2. The play came about after both teams had fast breaks, first the Comets broke 2v2, but had the chance broken up. This led to a 3v1 situation for the Wave, but Waltman made a good save and back the other way came Geison and Neto on a 2v1. Geison fed Neto who collected, turned and fired past Feenstra to make it 8-2. The fouling by the Wave continued and Marcio Leite found himself in the box for holding a short time later. Once again, the Comets capitalized on the power play, only 15 seconds after the power play started, it was 10-2. A ball played across to the back post was headed back into the middle by Geison. Feenstra could only slap at the header and the ball fell to Leo Gibson who hit it on the side volley past Feenstra to have the Comets go into the half up 8.

The 3rd quarter, once again saw the Wave come out looking to get themselves back into the game. Both keepers were busy though as the Comets continued to try to strike on the counter. Once again they suffered a blow to their offense, as Tiguinho went down with a knee injury close to half way through the quarter and did not return to the game. The loss of Tiguinho hurt a lot, because Missouri didn't really have someone that could pull the strings offensively as well as the Brazilian. Without him, the Comets offense sputtered.

The Wave took advantage. Just over 7 minutes in, Greenfield got on the board as he fired a shot low to Waltman's far corner in off the post. From there the Wave continued to pressure and they always looked the more likely team to score again. The next goal came from Ian Bennett, who was played in behind the Comets defense by Hewerton and he only had to tap it past Waltman to make it 10-6. A few minutes later, the Wave were within one. After Waltman made a good save, knocking away a low effort, the ball unfortunately fell to JP Rodrigues, who from outside the yellow line fired a 3 pointer that made it into the net and made it 10-9. Less than a minute later, the Wave were back in the lead. This time it was Hewerton getting the goal. Leite started the play on the right, squaring the ball into the middle, where Hewerton beat Stefan Stokic to the ball and poking the ball past Waltman to make it 11-10 after 3 quarters.

After the first 3 quarters saw late goals, the fourth quarter started with a flurry. Less than 30 seconds in, the Wave had expanded their lead as Greenfield got his second goal of the game as Hewerton was again the set up man, playing Greenfield in behind the defense. The Comets though didn't take long to respond. Bato Radoncic, picking up some of the playmaking role, picked out Gibson who had made a run on the back side. Gibson collected the ball, took a touch and fired past Feenstra to make it 13-12. A minute later the lead was again 3 points after the Comets intentially played the ball out of bounds in their own half. Leite found Hewerton on the left on the free kick and Hewerton made no mistake firing into the roof of the net to make it 15-12. The Comets though responded about a minute later, this time again through Geison. First, Rodriguez fired a shot off the top glass, the ball fell to Alvarez, whose header hit off the cross bar as Feenstra batted at it, but it fell to Geison who headed it into the net to make it a 1 point game again.

The Comets continued to push the game late, getting another power play, but were again unable to capitalize on the opportunity. In the end they missed Tiguinho's creativity on the field to help them break down the Wave's defense. The end of the game saw Bennett commit a rough foul on Gibson. After the game, the foul led to an exchanging of words and shoving between the two players. The shoving escalated and both teams were soon enough packed together on one side of the field trying to separate things out. Certainly will make the next 3 games the two teams play against each other of the next week or so very interesting.

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