The Comets swept their regular season series against the Baltimore Blast with three clear victories. Heading into Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals, they hoped to continue their strong showing and keep their season rolling.
Baltimore started the game by pressuring the Comets in their defensive end. Anytime a Comets defender got the ball in their defensive third, two Blast players would immediately appear to try and trap them into a mistake. Comets keeper, Boris Pardo, filled the role of 6th field player to help his team clear out of danger and work the ball towards an attack.
The Comets struck first as Ramone Palmer was able to break through the pressure then find Lucas Rodriguez for the score. However, the Blast stayed with their pressure-defense and were able to capitalize on a missed clearance only 9 seconds later. Levi Houapeu knocked in his second goal of the playoffs to tie the game.
Following that score, the Comets defense and Pardo frustrated and shut down any other attack that Baltimore could muster. Whenever the Blast crossed midfield, Missouri had five players behind the ball and in their face. When Baltimore was able to find a shooting lane, Pardo was there to thwart any chance at a goal.
Offensively, the Comets patiently held onto possession and waited for opportune times to attack. Bryan Perez scored on a power play in the second quarter and Stefan Stokic tapped home a third goal after Max Touloutte picked the pocket of Baltimore's Pat Healey in the third period.
With four minutes to play in the game, this series looked to be heading to Baltimore with a Comets win. However, Baltimore wasn't ready to call it quits, inserting Healey as a 6th Attacker in final minutes. Lucas Roque and Adriano Dos Santos each scored with the man advantage and forced the game into extra time.
Seemingly still shell-shocked from giving up a two-goal lead, the Comets defense allowed Baltimore rookie, Juan Pereira to get past them and collect a long pass off the back wall immediately after the Overtime kickoff. The ball took an odd bounce from the wall and Pardo was helpless to stop the shot. After only two seconds of overtime, the Blast had completed their comeback and claimed the game one victory.
The series now shifts to Baltimore for a Tuesday night matchup. The Comets will need to win Game Two to force a 15 minute mini-game and keep their season alive.