Not for the first time over past two years, a Kansas City Comets comeback has fallen just short. This time their efforts fell short to fellow South Central Division rival, the St. Louis Ambush.
John Sosa returned to action for the first time since exiting after halftime of last weekend’s home opener against the Milwaukee Wave and not playing against the St. Louis Ambush a day later. Kiel Williams served a one-game suspension for a red card against St. Louis last weekend as well. Ray Lee, Odaine Sinclair, and Patrick Kelly were all listed as inactive.
After a physical start, the Comets broke through first after 5 minutes of play in the first quarter after John Sosa found Lucas Rodriguez streaking through the box, who fired the ball into the roof of the net.
Just 31 seconds into the second quarter, St. Louis tied it up after KC keeper, Brett Petricek, was unable to keep out a shot from Justin Stinson that appeared to be deflected by Robert Palmer.
The Ambush gained a 2-1 lead when Lucas Almeida assisted JT Thomas off of a poor decision from Anthony Grant with 10:48 to go in the first half. Two minutes later the Comets capitalized on a power play, making it 2-2 with 8:48 left in the second quarter after Lucas Rodriguez sent a rocket to the top left corner.
James Togbah scored after corralling a St. Louis clearance and fired a shot in to make it 3-2 in favor of the Comets with 4:51 left in the half.
The Ambush capitalized after a misplaced pass off of a restart from John Sosa when JT Thomas redirected the ball into the goal off his stomach, making the score 3-3 after four and a half minutes into the third quarter. The visitors struck again less than a minute later after Lucas Rodriguez lost the ball and Stinson played the ball across to Zach Reget, slotted it into the back of the net, making it 4-3 Ambush.
The Comets drew level when John Sosa scored directly off of a restart with 7:01 left in in the third period but the Ambush had a quick answer. Reget scored again after he put the ball between the legs of Petricek after his insave was not enough to keep St. Louis out.
Lucas Almeida scored for the Ambush after Jerjer Gibson’s shot ricochet off the board with 1:37 left in the third with the Comets down 6-4.
With Lucas Rodriguez in as the sixth attacker, Kansas City’s attempted comeback started when Leo Gibson scored from short range to make it 6-5 with 2:14 to play.
Kim Rontved’s side weren’t able tie it up after pressure in the closing minutes, dropping their third straight game(second straight to St. Louis) and fourth game of the young season.
The Comets are now fourth in the South Central Division with a 1-4 record. The St. Louis Ambush improved to 3-2 and sit second in the division.
Overall, it was a very slow and sloppy performance from the home side with too many instances of losing focus and disorganization. The Comets lacked urgency right from the start, which resulted in a rare win for the Ambush over the Comets.
The Comets killed two power plays, improving to 69% on the year. Leo Gibson’s goal to get the Comets within a goal gave him six goals on the season with eight assists and 14 points and 13 blocks, all are team highs.
The Comets will look for revenge next Saturday, December 29, in St. Louis with kickoff time set for 7:05 PM CT.