Saturday, December 31, 2016

Defensive Mistake Cost Comets in Loss to Tropics

The Kansas City Comets' defense has been extremely stout as of late at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, allowing just one goal in their last two games on their home field. Unfortunately that all changed as the Comets welcomed the expansion Florida Tropics to Kansas City tonight, the Comets defense fell to pieces with a number of poor giveaways leading to goals, including two short handed goals for the Tropics as the Comets fell 8-7 to the Tropics to fall to 5-4 on the season.

The Comets jumped out to an early lead with two goals in the first quarter thanks to Ramone Palmer just two minutes in as he fired home a shot after Guerrero Pino beat goalkeeper Piotr Sliwa to the ball knocking it off the wall into Palmer's path. Near the midpoint of the half the Comets doubled the lead as Lucas Rodriguez fired home a shot from a tight angle after a John Sosa restart. While the Comets had the lead, it was the Tropics that controlled the quarter, pressuring the Comets in their own end, and forcing the Comets defense to be busy.

The second quarter saw the Comets begin to pressure the Tropics more but couldn't add to their lead. Eventually the Comets got caught up as Ricardo Diegues beat Stephen Patterson to put the Tropics on the board just under nine minutes in. The Comets answered just over a minute later though as Ramone Palmer scored his second goal of the game, toe-poking a shot past Sliwa and into the net to make it 3-1. Before half time though the Tropics struck back again as Victor Parreiras found the back of the net with less than a minute left to put the Tropics within one heading into half time.

The third quarter things got out of hand for the Comets as Diegues tied the game just over three minutes in off a restart. The Tropics then took the lead close to the mid point of the period as Diegues finished off his hattrick as he jumped on a poor pass by Alain Matingou and scored to make it 4-3. The Comets tied the game about two minutes later on the power play as the Comets spread the field and eventually Rodriguez found Leo Gibson in the middle who one timed a shot into the corner to tie the game at 4-4. KC pushed to try to retake the lead and got caught on the counter as Freddy Moojen finished off the counter with his first goal of the game to put the Tropics up 5-4 after three quarters.

Early in the fourth quarter the Comets found themselves on the power play after a tripping penalty, but got caught up field and another counter by the Tropics allowed Raphael Nascimento to easily beat Patterson to make it 6-4 after Sliwa quickly fed Parreiras, who fed Nascimento. Seconds later the Tropics looked liked they'd do it again short handed but called for too many men on the field. The Comets had just over 30 seconds with a two man advantage but couldn't find the net. As the first penalty expired, Anthony Arico raced out of the box and pressured Patterson in his own defensive third. Patterson lost the ball and Arico scored to make it 7-4 to the Tropics. With just over six minutes left the Comets got one goal back as Rodriguez scored on another power play for the Comets to cut the lead to 7-5. The Comets almost immediately went to the sixth attacker, inserting Sosa as the sixth attacker. But the Tropics again quickly countered off a Sliwa save as the Comets didn't get back, Arico fed Nascimento, who scored his second goal of the game to make it 8-5. The Comets got another opportunity on the power play after a boarding penalty and took advantage as Robert Palmer headed in a ball on the goal line with just over two minutes left to cut the lead to two goals at 8-6. The Comets continued to pressure and with 12 seconds left found a goal to cut the lead to one as Sosa scored from the top of the box to make it 8-7. With only 12 seconds left the Comets immediately went on the offensive off the kick off and had two efforts by Palmer and Brian Harris cleared off the line before the final horn blew.

The Comets won't get to dwell on the loss long though as they are off to St. Louis tomorrow for an afternoon game against the St. Louis Ambush to try to keep themselves ahead of the Milwaukee Wave in the Central division playoff race.

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