Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gibson's Third Hattrick Leads Comets to Win

The Comets made a statement with last week’s 30-17 win over Rochester, and hoped to make some more noise against the Baltimore Blast tonight.  Playing in 1st Mariner Arena, where the Blast had an 18 game winning streak dating back to last season, they knew they had their work cut out for them.  Coady Andrews scored less than two minutes into the game and Leo Gibson turned in another hat trick performance (7 points overall) as the Comets won their second in a row, 14-11.

For the second straight game the Comets were without their leading scorer, Byron Alvarez, forcing Leo Gibson into the forward lines again.  An injury to Stefan Stokic in practice this week left them short on the defensive end as well.  Captain Vahid Assadpour stepped up to the challenge and along with Cristiano, Brian Harris and Ryan Junge held the Baltimore Blast to under 12 points at home for only the third time this season. 

Coady Andrews once again got the Comets off to a great start with a goal less than two minutes into the game.  Leo Gibson followed up with another goal of his own exactly five minutes later.  Baltimore picked up after that and the action was fast as both teams were going end to end.  Ptah Myers and Lucas Roque were able to tie it up for the Blast before the quarter ended. 

The action didn’t stop in the second quarter, but the defense picked up for both teams.  The only goal of the quarter came off Missouri’s Milan Ivanovic into his own net after Lucio Gonzaga took a restart outside the arc and tried to cut it across the box.  As the teams went into the locker room, the Comets were down 7-4, but fans in the arena knew this was far from over.

Mike Lookingland opened the second half scoring in the sixth minute of the third quarter giving the Blast a 9-4 lead, a lead that Baltimore might have thought was insurmountable based on their previous performance against the Comets, particularly at home.  John Sosa hit a rocket from the right side to climb the Comets back into the game. Less than two minutes later the 5’6” Gibson jumped over the 5’11” Vanzela for a header goal. Suddenly only down 8-9 the Comets had new life.  Tino Nunez extended the Baltimore lead to 11-8 with a goal late in the quarter, but Gibson answered by closing out his third straight hat trick moments later.  After three periods the Comets were hanging in there, down 11-10.

As the third quarter opened, the Comets poured on the pressure.  Defender Brian Harris showed off his speed by blazing past the Blast defense on the left side and finding Stefan St. Louis for wide open in the middle for the go-ahead goal.  Gibson then chipped in an assist four minutes later feeding Cristiano for the Comets 14-11 lead.

Despite adding the sixth attacker in the final three minutes of the game, the Blast could not crack the suddenly stellar Comets defense.  In winning this game 14-11 the Comets scored more points than Baltimore has allowed to any team this season, snapped their own seven game road winning streak, and ended Baltimore’s 18 game home winning streak.  Current MISL Player of the Week, Leo Gibson, did his best to retain that title scoring three goals and an assist.  With his seven points he now has 29 points in the last three games, the highest output of anyone in the league over that time span.

The Comets don’t have time to celebrate though as they face the Rochester Lancers tomorrow night in Rochester at 12pm CDT.  Fans can join the Comets Nation Watch Party at Coach’s or watch online at

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