The Comets haven't had the season that many were expecting this year when the season started, but they're a step closer to the playoffs after a 17-9 win over the Milwaukee Wave at the Independence Events Center today. The win puts the Comets' magic number for clinching a playoff spot at 1 with 3 games left. A win by the Comets or a loss by Syracuse and Wichita and the Comets are into the playoffs.
They got it down to one game with the win over the Wave, which ended Milwaukee's 16 game winning streak. Things didn't start out too well for the Comets though. Five minutes into the quarter, the Wave grabbed the lead. The ball got played to the back post towards Hewerton who knocked the ball back into the middle. Ian Bennett slammed the ball home making it 2-0 Wave. Three minutes later it was 4-0 and again it was Bennett scoring. Luan Oliveira took a shot from outside the yellow line as Bennett ran in front of Danny Waltman. Waltman made the initial save, but with Bennett running in front of him, Waltman saw it late and spilled the rebound. Bennett was there to bury the rebound and make it 4-0. The Comets pushed the game getting a number of shots, but were unable to find the net and ended the quarter down 4-0.
The second quarter continued to see the Comets pressure the Wave's defense, but unable to find the back of the net. Just over the half way point in the half the Comets finally got a goal. Off a restart, Byron Alvarez picked out Vahid Assadpour on the back side. Assadpour played a ball across the face of goal where Leo Gibson was and he tapped the ball home to make it 4-2. A minute after the goal the Comets found themselves on the penalty kill. As they pushed for an equalizer they were left exposed at the back. One of these instances led to a 2v1 break. Bryan Harris raced back trying to recover and pulled back on the Wave attacker earning himself a blue card. But the Comets have been scoring short handed all season and did it again tonight. Assadpour played a long ball over the top towards Gibson. Wave defender, Jonathan Greenfield though reached it first and headed it into the glass hoping to get it clear. Unfortunately he headed it off the glass right to Gibson who fired a volley past Marcel Feenstra in the Wave net to tie the game. The Comets continued to be the aggressor, but couldn't find another goal before the half.
In the third quarter though it didn't take long for the Comets to grab the lead. A long ball over the top by the Comets was cleared by Feenstra right to Ryan Junge. Junge played the ball back through to Byron Alvarez who turned and fired a shot past Feenstra to make it 6-4. The lead didn't last long though. Less than three minutes into the half it was 6-6. Missouri continued to push the game and got caught again on the counter. Tom Oatley led the counter for the Wave in a 2v1 situation with Assadpour. The rest of the Missouri defense was slow to respond and Oatley fed Bryan Perez who beat Waltman to make it 6-6. The game continued to be back and forth with both goalkeepers making big saves, including Waltman in a 2 on none situation where he made a kick save to keep the game tied. With under 3 minutes left the Comets retook the lead. John Sosa picked out Mads Falck on the left side. With time to take a touch and turn, Falck fired in a shot off the post and in making it 8-6.
In the fourth quarter the Comets grabbed another early goal. Just over two minutes into the quarter Alvarez scored his second. Alvarez and Falck combined for a 1-2 just outside the box and Alvarez fired a shot on goal. A runner in front of Feenstra caused him to see the shot late and the Comets extended their lead to 4 at 10-6. Before the 5 minute mark the Wave got within a point as Bennett finished off his hattrick on a 3 pointer that hit the underside of the cross bar making it 10-9. Both teams had periods where they were dominating possession but both sides struggled to get shots off. Just over 8 minutes into the quarter the Comets made their lead 3 points again. Off a restart Ibrahim Kante played the ball across to Assadpour. Assadpour fired a shot that hit off the boards. His shot though hit the back of Feenstra's leg and rolled into the net before Feenstra could collect it making it 12-9. A minute after the goal the Comets went on the power play as Israel Sesay picked up a blue card for holding on Gibson. The Comets took advantage of the power play as Gibson made it 14-9. Gibson's first shot was well saved by Feenstra, but the rebound went straight up and Gibson was the first to react getting his head on the ball and putting it into the net making it 14-9. Shortly after that the Wave went with the 6th attacker looking to get back into the game. The Wave controlled possession, but weren't able to get a goal. Then with only 6 seconds left the Comets Jeff Hughes won the ball feeding it to Assadpour. Right outside the yellow line, Assadpour chipped a shot that landed inside the net giving the Comets a 17-9 lead, that with only 5 seconds left was enough to give the Comets the win.