Missouri Comets edge Rochester Lancers 19-17 in thriller.

Thad Bell

A hat trick from Assadpour and three assists from Leo Gibson were enough to give the Comets a 19-17 edge in Rochester.

It came down to the wire but the Comets were the ones laughing last as they edged out the Rochester Lancers 19-17 in a thriller.

Assadpour started the game's scoring in the first quarter on a great assist from Leo Gibson. With 9:32 to go in the quarter, Gibson sent a backheel pass to Assadpour who was coming around on an overlapping run. Assadpour finished far post to give the Comets a 2-0 lead. It was Assadpour's 12th goal of the year and Gibson's ninth assist.

The Lancers equalized later in the quarter off of a shot sent in from Pedrinho Franco that was deflected into the goal. The referees reviewed the play and saw that it deflected off of Palmer of the Comets, making it a three-point goal for the Lancers. Less than two minutes later, Rochester scored again when Gary Boughton finished in front of goal with 3:03 to go in the quarter. The Lancers led 5-2.

Ramone Palmer made up for his deflected own goal quickly after that, striking a rebounded ball from three-point range into the net for the equalizer. It was Palmer's sixth goal of the year and first three pointer of the season. The scoring wasn't done in the quarter just yet as Mauricio Salles fired in a shot from just behind the arc to give the Lancers an 8-5 lead to end the quarter.

It didn't take long for the Comets to open up the scoring in the second quarter as Leo Gibson put in a deflected shot from five feet out to bring Missouri to within one. It was Gibson's twelfth goal of the year. Sosa followed up that goal with one of his own, finishing off a pass from Rodriguez near the arc to give Missouri a 9-8 lead in the second. The scoring run continued for the Comets as Assadpour finished in front of goal off of another assist from Gibson, brining the lead to 11-8 with 10:40 to go in the half.

The Lancers came storming back after a beautiful three-point strike from Boughton found its way into the upper corner, tying the game back up at 11. He found an open shot from beyond the arc and shot it into the narrowest of margins into the far corner, a goal of the year candidate for certain. Pedrinho would once again find the net a couple of minutes later, crashing into the box and rocketing the ball just under the bar to give the Lancers a 13-11 lead.

Rodriguez quieted the Lancers' momentum soon after the timeout as he fired in a quick shot in the box to bring the score level once more with 8:38 to go in the half. The rest of the half was uncharacteristically scoreless as the Comets and Lancers went into the locker room tied at 13-13.

The Lancers came out firing in the second half as Gary Boughton headed in his third goal of the afternoon, giving the Lancers a 15-13 lead 49 seconds into the second half. Two minutes later Bato scored his first goal as a Lancer, cleaning up a loose ball in front of goal to give the Lancers a 17-13 lead with twelve minutes to go in the half.

With nine minutes to go, Missouri took advantage of the 5 on 3 power play they had earned by pulling two points back. Sosa scored near post off of a cheeky back heel shot to bring the score to 17-15 in favor of the Lancers. The Comets weren't able to score again in the power play, but they were able to equalize later in the quarter as Palmer found some space in the box and put the loose ball in the net to make the score 17-17 with 3:33 to go in the quarter. That would be the end of the scoring for the third quarter.

The two teams battled without any scores for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter but that soon changed with Assadpour put in his third goal of the game to put the Comets up 19-17. It was also the third time that Assadpour had scored off of a Gibson assist in this match. The defensive play continued as the clock ran down, forcing the Lancers to bring on a sixth attacker with three minutes to go. That would be neutralized after Juninho earned a blue card and the Lancers lost a man for two minutes with 2:19 to go.

The Lancers would bring some last second pressure in the final minutes but the Comets would hold on to win 19-17 over Rochester. It moved the Comets to 5-2 on the year and it gained them a half game on first place Milwaukee. Rochester fell to 3-6 and a full four games out of first. The Comets are back in action this Friday when they travel to take on Baltimore.

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