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Comets control second half in drive to 8-5 win over Ambush

Scoring a goal shorthanded and controlling the play may have been the turning point in the game

The Comets are off to an amazing 11-0 start on the season
The Comets are off to an amazing 11-0 start on the season
Thad Bell

The Comets kept the undefeated streak alive against the Ambush and moved to 11-0, the best record in the league. It was not an easy in the first half but the Comets started to pull away in the second to take the 8-5 victory at St. Louis.

The Comets came into the game at a disadvantage already. With this the third game in eight days they were missing offensive threat Max Touloute and Ramone Palmer and defensive stalwart Coady Andrews to injuries. Missing players was not the only issue, head coach Vlatko Andonovski was suspended after being ejected the previous match in Milwaukee.

While Andonovski was not able to coach the game, he was able to be there to watch. Having to watch the game from somewhere else but the bench or the field was new for Andonovski but his seat in the top row of the arena allowed him to see his boys from a new angle and later join the 200 fans that made trip from Kansas City to celebrate.

With Andonovski suspended, friend and assistant coach Goran Koradzov took over the duties. "G (Goran) was amazing, he did an unbelievable job. He had some crucial coaching points, decisions he made throughout the game that made the difference," Andonovski stated after the match.

"It was a tough environment, seven thousand fans and a lot of people from Kansas City. St louis always plays hard," Koradzov described the match. "We don't want to play against physical teams and they are all about physical. Seven thousand fans, playing in St Louis is tough. It is a derby for us.

The Comets grabbed the early lead with a pair of goals by the 6:49 mark of the first quarter. St. Louis started to take control after that, scoring three goals part way into the second quarter. The game was starting to look grim for the Kansas City boys when the Ambush took the lead and then ended up shorthanded when Robert Palmer received a two-minute penalty for boarding former team mate Stefan St. Louis at 6:40 of the second quarter.

"The first half was not the way we wanted," Koradzov admitted. "They are physical but we are better at playing are our game and our game is playing smart, moving the ball and knowing where to go."

Playing a man down seemed to wake the Comets up and when they got a restart at the top of the arc, John Sosa easily put it home untouched by the Ambush defense. From that point on, the Comets controlled the possession and made the Ambush look like they were shorthanded.

"I think that was the turning point for us," Koradzov observed. "We realized we could control the ball a man down, why could we not do it with five players on the field? That was the turning point for us. We realized that.

After evening the score shorthanded, the Comets went on to dominate possession for the rest of the game and control the pace which was key for the team missing three players.  The Comets scored five goals to take the lead through the second half. It was only a final goal with ten seconds left by Stefan St. Louis, who seemed determined to at least get one against his former team, to make the final score 8-5.

"I am so proud of the boys, they showed they are truly champions," Koradzov made very clear after the match.