Saturday, February 18, 2017

Comets Clinch Playoff Berth

The Missouri Comets clinched their seventh straight playoff berth in a 12-4 win over the Harrisburg Heat on Friday night. The Comets came out and pushed the Heat from the opening whistle, pressuring the Heat in their own end which lead to a number of chances for the Comets. It took until the final five minutes of the quarter before either team found a goal. The Comets pressure allowed the Comets to find the opener as Bryan Perez intercepted a clearance with his head, the ball got rotated around to John Sosa who fired a shot to the back post where Perez had camped out to put the ball into the net. Less than a minute later the Comets doubled their lead, again with their high pressure, this time it was Robert Palmer who intercepted a pass, knocking it into the path of Ramone Palmer who knocked the ball into the net with the outside of his foot. The second quarter the Heat came out and were able to cut into the Comets lead, scoring just over a minute and a half in. Over the next six minutes though the Comets basically put the game away as they scored five goals to extend their lead to 7-1. Alain Matingou got the run started just under a minute after the Heat got on the board as more high pressure lead to a turn over and Robert Palmer picked out a streaking Matingou who fired the ball into the upper 90 to make it 3-1. Just over four minutes in more high pressure saw Ramone Palmer win the ball in the Heat's third of the field before the ball ended up at the feet of Lucas Rodriguez who scored to make it 4-1. Less than a minute later the Comets made it five as a long ball from goalkeeper Stephen Paterson bounced off the wall into the path of Guerrero Pino who scored. A minute later the Comets scored their fourth straight, this one coming off a restart as Sosa laid the ball off to Perez who scored to the near post. Before eight minutes had been played the Comets made it 7-1 as Nacho Flores pounced on the ball when a Heat player slipped. Flores raced in and fired a shot off the post that went right to Ramone Palmer whose attempt to square the ball to Vahid Assadpour, but Palmer's cross hit off Heat goalkeeper Hugo Silva and rolled into the net. The Heat ended the run in the final five minutes of the quarter off a restart to go into the half time break down 7-2.

The third quarter started with the Heat pushing to get back in the game, scoring just 27 seconds in to cut the Comets lead to 7-3. The Heat continued to pressure and create chances and cut further into the lead with just over nine minutes played as Paterson initially saved a shot but his save went right onto the heat of STephen Basso and went into the net to cut the Comets lead to just three goals. The goal would be the last that the Heat scored on the night though. In the final three minutes of the third quarter the Comets grabbed three goals. Vahid Assadpour got the scroing started off a restart as Sosa picked out Assadpour in the corner who fired a shot that basically went through Silva and in. With two and a half minutes left Sosa and Assadpour teamed up again, this time in the run on the power play as Assadpour received a pass from Sosa, fired a shot that went right back to Assadpour, given a second chance, Assadpour made no mistake scoring to make it 9-4. In the final minute, Matingou scored his second of the game volleying a shot past Silva and in to put the Comets up 10-4 through three quarters.

The Comets were able to extend their lead further in the fourth quarter. Just under seven minutes in the Comets capitalized on the Heat's sixth attacker as Robert Palmer got played in behind the Heat defense and just dribbled teh ball into the goal to make it 11-4. A minute and a half later the Comets finished the scoring as Odaine Sinclair started a counter playing a give and go with Pino before calmly placing the ball into the net to make it 12-4. The Comets killed the rest of the clock turning their heads towards tomorrow's game in Milwaukee where the Comets can clinch the Central Division with a win.

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