The Kansas City Comets dropped their home opener in overtime by a final score of 6-5 against the Tacoma Stars on Friday evening.
Kansas City’s failure to close out games has put them in a tough position, but they have certainly shown that they are moving in the right direction if they can manage to finish the game strong. Both teams had some big missed chances, but KC’s came in the worst moments.
The Comets were without Kevin Ellis, Ramone Palmer, Matt Lewis, Ignacio Flores, and Kyle McLagan, however, Ray Lee did make his return from injury.
Adrian Correa opened the scoring for the Stars on the powerplay, but the Comets replied with a pair of goals from Alvaro Beltran and Ray Lee to give KC the 2-1 lead after the opening quarter. Hector Solorio added a third for KC with a terrific strike before Nick McDonald made 4-1 for the hosts midway through the second quarter. Tacoma target forward Vini Dantas scored in his Stars debut to bring the Stars within two at halftime.
Kansas City regained their three-goal advantage after Alvaro Beltran scored his second of the night, however, that lead slowly diminished. Tacoma player-coach Nick Perera cut the lead back down to two in the third period.
After much penetration, Tacoma finally leveled the score with a pair of goals from Vini Dantas and Cory Keitz, sending the game to overtime. Keitz found the sudden-death winner in overtime, capitalizing on a crucial mistake from the Comets defense.
The Comets have now dropped four straight, bringing their record to 1-4 with their second overtime loss of the season. The Stars get their season off with an impressive comeback victory to give them a 1-0 record as they now head to St. Louis for a match with the Ambush on Sunday.
This loss is really going to sting for KC. That is now their third loss in which they gave up a three-goal lead in the second half. The Comets invited the pressure deep inside their defensive half for a significant portion of the second half, and it did not pay off. Once again, KC missed a ton of chances that would have given them more breathing room.
All three goalkeepers turned in impressive performances, but Danny Waltman was the best of them. Waltman came in for the second half and was stellar in his return to Kansas City, conceding just one goal and receiving credit for seven saves, though it seemed like a lot more.
The Comets will have a week to reflect on their latest collapse before welcoming the San Diego Sockers into town.