Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Comets Win Wild Game in Milwaukee

The Missouri Comets made it to the new year with their undefeated record in tact, but it certainly wasn't easy, playing in Milwaukee with only 12 players due to injuries, and in the end it took the Comets going to their first shootout of the season, but the Comets won 7-7 (2-1) over the Wave to go to 10-0 on the season.

The Wave grabbed the lead after breaking the Comets pressure, with Tony Walls redirecting a shot past Danny Waltman and into the net to make it 1-0. The Comets were able to respond in the last five minutes of the half, as Leo Gibson finished off a pass from Alain Matingou to level the game at 1-1. Before the end of the quarter the Comets were able to grab the lead with Vahid Assadpour finishing off an opportunity from Bryan Perez. Unfortunately for the Comets, Milwaukee equalized in the final minute of the quarter with Marcio Leite finishing off the chance.

The second quarter saw the Comets take over control of the game. Just over half way into the quarter, the Comets were able to retake the lead on the power play. Bryan Perez scored the goal off an assist from Gibson. The Comets pressure continued, but Nick Vorberg came up with some good saves to keep the Wave in the game. In the final minute of the quarter though Matingou beat Vorberg to a loose ball in the box and knocked it home to make it 4-2 as the two teams headed into the half time break.

The third quarter saw the Comets take another injury blow. Already without Max Touloute and Ramone Palmer due to injuries, Coady Andrews picked up an ankle injury early in the quarter and finished the game on the sidelines. The Comets though continued to press and just over half way through the quarter the Comets extended their lead to three. While it should go down as an own goal as Victor Quiroz headed the ball into his own net, the goal officially went to Perez for his second of the night as the Comets made it 5-2. Late in the quarter the Comets extended the lead to 6-2 as Brian Harris fired a shot home from long range.

The fourth quarter saw the Wave come storming back into the game. Just under three minutes in, the Wave cut the lead to 6-3 as Luan Sales Oliveira scored. The Wave continued to press the game, looking to cut the lead further. Before the half way mark, they'd cut the lead to one with two goals less than 30 seconds apart. Less than eight minutes in, JC Banks scored to make it 6-4, then 30 seconds later, Ian Bennet scored to make it 6-5. With less than five and a half minutes left, Banks scored again to tie the game at 6-6 completing the Wave's comeback. The Comets though stopped the Wave's run with three and a half minutes left as Perez finished off his hattrick scoring off of a free kick to put the Comets ahead 7-6. Very late in the game, things got extremely crazy. First with just under two minutes left, the Wave brought on their sixth attacker. Then with just five seconds left, Matingout went to the box with a blue card for four fouls. The Wave took the restart and eventually the ball made it to Oliveira who scored with less than a second left. At the time the Comets were livid because the clock did not start running when the free kick was taken. If the clock had started on time the game likely would have been over before the goal was scored. In frustration over the call, head coach, Vlatko Andonovski pulled his team off the field as the game was over.

Eventually the Comets came back out onto the field, although Andonovski was sent off by the referees. Overtime started with the Wave on the power play, but the Comets were able to kill the play off. Through the rest of the overtime both teams had chances, but the Comets had the better of them. Unable to capitalize on them though the Wave almost found a winner late on. With Waltman out of position, the Wave had an open net, but the shot was knocked off the line by John Sosa with his hand, channeling Luis Suarez in the 2010 World Cup. This led to a shootout attempt for the Wave, but Oliveira had his attempt stopped by Waltman and time in overtime expired.

The game went to a shootout with each team alternating shots. Gibson and Bennett both had their first attempts saved by Waltman and Vorberg. With the second attempt, Perez had his attempt saved while Leite tried to round Waltman, but went too far wide to get his effort on goal. Up third for the Comets was Assadpour. Up third for Wave was Oliveira who fired quickly, beating Waltman to tie the score and send the shootout to sudden death. Per the rules, Gibson stepped up to take the attempt again. This time Gibson buried his attempt past Forberg. For the Wave Oliveira stepped up again, but Waltman came up with a big save to give the Comets the win. The Comets got off the field as quickly as possible in a smash and grab, getting out of Milwaukee with the win.

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