Without three players that put in a large number of minutes for the team today, the Missouri Comets built a 13-5 lead by late in the 4th quarter, but had to hold on late to defeat the Rochester Lancers 13-11 for their 5th straight win.
The Comets were without 3rd leading scorer, Vahid Assadpour, Cristiano, and recent signing Bato Radoncic today as they took on the Lancers. To go along with that, the Comets lost Ryan Junge and Tiguinho during the course of the game due to injury.
The Comets grabbed the early lead as Neto backhealed a pass from Tiguinho into the net. Only a minute later, the Lancers actually pulled ahead off a restart 3 pointer from Mauricio Salles. The Comets continued to push to try to get the lead back, and late in the quarter they pulled ahead again. Once again it was Neto finding the net off another assist from Tiguinho. This time Tiguinho got open on the right hand side and played a ball across the box to an unmarked Neto who tapped the ball home.
In the second quarter, the Lancers retook the lead, as Andrew Hoxie beat Danny Waltman in net to make it 5-4. Just after the midway point in the half though, the Comets retook the lead. This time through John Sosa. Byron Alvarez led a 2v1 break and then fed Sosa who slotted the shot under Patrick Hannigan to make it 6-5. Just over a minute later, Bryan Harris fed a pass to Neto, and the Brazilian fired a shot from 3 point range the went into the roof of the net giving the Comets a 9-5 lead. Waltman was called to make some big saves, including one where he made it across the length of the goal and knocked a ball off the line to keep the lead for Missouri.
In the second half, the Lancers began to push the game more, looking to get themselves back into the game. And at each turn, Waltman came up big, making a number of big saves. Including once again saving one off the line. Late in the quarter, Missouri extended their lead. With less than a minute left, Lucas Rodriguez fed a pass to the back post for Geison who beat Hannigan low again making it 11-5.
The fourth quarter saw both keepers once again come up big for their side, Waltman continued to keep the Lancers out of the net, while Hannigan kept his team in it as well. Missouri though did find another goal just before the half way point. Alvarez picked up his second assist of the game, feeding Geison who scored his second goal making it 13-5. The Lancers though kept things close, and finally found a way past Waltman. Doug Miller got the first goal with just over 9 minutes gone. Less than a minute later the Lancers were within 3, thanks to a goal from Gary Boughton.
Then as the game was winding down, things got interesting. The Lancers brought on the 6th attacker with about 2 and a half minutes left and pushed the game even more. That lasted for only about 30 seconds though when a blue card came out for Sallas. The Comets went onto the power play, but they were on the power play for about a minute when Lucas Rodriguez found himself going to the box for boarding. So with the teams playing 4v4, the Lancers brought the "5th attacker" back on the field. The Comets withstood the pressure and with 25 seconds left Harris tried to lead a break. Instead, Harris was up ended by Kyle Manscuk and went into the boards. The foul was the last of what had been a chippy 4th quarter, and Harris came up ready for a fight. Players from both teams came off the bench and a scuffle broke out. The referees quickly broke things up. When everything cleared up, Manscuk was shown a red card for his challenge, while Harris was given a blue card for retaliation and went to the box himself. So for the last 25 seconds the two teams played 3v3. The Lancers had one good late chance right before time expired, but Waltman came up with one last big save. In the end, Waltman had over 20 saves as the Comets held the Lancers off.
Combine the Comets 5th straight win with a 3rd straight loss for the Milwaukee Wave, and Missouri is back in the race to potentially win the Central Division. Missouri has to win out while the Wave continue to lose, but it is still possible. The Wave have 1 game against Syracuse before ending the season with 2 against the Comets.