The Kansas City Comets completed a great comeback, but still fell short in overtime.
Already without Robert Kelly, Ray Lee, Ray Saari, and Matt Lewis, defender Robert Palmer was forced to play through a sickness. With an injury to goalkeeper Rafa Dias, the Wave started newly signed Joey Kapinos for his second appearance for Milwaukee.
Max Ferdinand and Derek Huffman scored midway through the first quarter to put the visitors up 2-0. The Comets pulled one back to make it 2-1 after Robert Palmer’s long diagonal ball to Leo Gibson was settled for a perfect finish from Adam James. Ian Bennett restored the Milwaukee after pouncing on the opportunity following the rebound off the board. The second quarter ended scoreless, but there was no shortage of missed opportunities, especially for the Comets who still struggled to , and highlighted by a senseless two minute penalty from Mirko Sandivari for kicking, which was carried and killed in the third period.
Ian Bennett made it 4-1 on the powerplay after KC was given a blue card for too many men, but Leo Gibson responded by scoring his 25th goal of the season from a tight angle to bring the Comets within two after three quarters.
After another penalty to the Comets, Ian Bennett put the Wave up 5-2 with his third of the evening on the powerplay. Leo Gibson quickly grabbed one back with a restart from the top of the ark. Kevin Ellis headed Comets within one on the powerplay midway through the fourth quarter. Milwaukee’s Andre Hayne and KC’s Kevin Ellis exchanged goals just seconds apart to put the score at 6-5 Wave with three minutes left. John Sosa found the first first equalizer to tie it at 6-6 with the help of a deflection to send the game to overtime. Chad Vandergriffe scored the overtime winner in overtime to give Milwaukee a 7-6 win over the Comets,
The loss drops the Comets record to .500 at 8-8 as they have dropped their fourth overtime game this season, and two of them have been against the Wave. Milwaukee’s dominance over the Comets continues as they improve to 11-4, which puts them behind Utica City FC and the Florida Tropics.
Kansas City put out a tremendous effort, but in the end it was tired legs again that allowed the Wave to grab the overtime winner. While both keepers had some quality saves, the Comets will be disappointed that they didn’t take advantage of more opportunities (especially a rare poorly taken penalty from Leo Gibson that was saved by the keeper) and gave Milwaukee four powerplay opportunities. While the Comets are still mathematically in the playoff race, it will be very difficult with away games in Utica City and at the Florida Tropics still to come. The Comets might have also picked up another injury after Ignacio Flores stayed in the locker room for the second half and left the arena in crutches.
The Comets will look to reignite the fire of their playoff dreams on Sunday when they welcome the league’s leader in points, Franck Tayou, who has really found his form recently with nine goals and seven assists in his last three games.