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Comets and Wave finally meet again in home-and-home series to end 2021

The Comets have changed from the last time they played the Wave.

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Leo Gibson is closing in on 400 points in MASL
Thad Bell

The Kansas City Comets will meet the Milwaukee Wave for the first time in 677 days on Wednesday, Dec. 29 at Cable Dahmer Arena. It will be the first game of a home-and-home series to conclude 2021.

MASL Regular Season- Matchday 4

Kansas City Comets vs Milwaukee Wave

When: Wednesday, December 29, 7:00 p.m. CST

Where: Cable Dahmer Arena, Independence, Missouri

Tickets: Ticketmaster

How To Watch: MASLtv | 38 the Spot (regionally)

Following Wednesday’s matchup both teams will meet again in Milwaukee, continuing the Wave’s annual New Year’s Eve game, which will also be Milwaukee’s home opener.

MASL Regular Season- Matchday 5

Kansas City Comets @ Milwaukee Wave

When: Friday, December 31, 3:05 p.m. CST

Where: UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

How To Watch: MASLtv

Continuing to build from last season’s momentum, the undefeated Comets (3-0) sit at the top of the Central Division with nine points. KC sits alongside the San Diego Sockers as the only remaining teams without a loss in the MASL.

Each of KC’s three wins has been over Central Division opponents. The first two wins came over the St. Louis Ambush on back-to-back nights. KC’s third win came on the road against the Dallas Sidekicks on Dec. 11.

The Comets most recently played on Dec. 19, defeating the Wichita Wings in an exhibition after the game with the Baltimore Blast was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.

Despite the hot start, the Comets haven’t been great with odd numbers. They enter Wednesday ranked second-worst in the division with a .455 powerplay percentage with five powerplay goals from 11 powerplay opportunities and second-best in the Central with a .455 penalty-kill percentage with five penalty kills in 11 short-handed penalties.

KC keeper Nicolau Neto is tied with Florida's Hugo Silva with a league-leading three wins and is third with 41 saves.

Players to Watch:

Leo Gibson - Still leads the league with 11 points, though he has fallen to second with nine goals and 3.7 points per game. Still carries much of the scoring load at 38 years old.

Mike Da-Silva - The Milwaukee native will get the opportunity to go against his former team, signing his first pro contract with the Wave in 2017. Impressing last year on loan with the Comets, where he averaged 1.6 points per game, Da-Silva is still looking to open his scoring account this season with just one shot through three games.

John Sosa - Averaging 2.3 points per game, the Comets defender ranks in the top eight in points, goals and assists. Always creative and dangerous from the top of the arc.

KC INJURY REPORT

Probable: Lesia Thetsane (left groin tightness); Kevin Ellis (right knee hypertension)

The Comets were hoping to have more visa issues resolved but Rian Marques, Benji Monreal and Felipe Abreu are still listed as inactive.

These two organizations have become very familiar with each other since 2010. KC has a 16-25 regular-season record against Milwaukee, and a 25-35 overall record.

KC wins against the Wave have been few and far between over the past few seasons, winning just two times from the previous 18 meetings. That recent history might not mean much considering how much the Comets have changed since 2019, which includes 10 players that are no longer with the Comets from their most recent meeting and 11 current Comets players that haven’t played against Milwaukee as a Comet.

Milwaukee Wave

The 2018/19 Ron Newman Cup champions are looking to reclaim their seat as MASL’s best team after sitting out last season as they watched the San Diego Sockers win it all. Milwaukee’s 2021/22 campaign has gotten off to a rough start as they remain winless through their first two games.

The Wave (0-1-1) sit in third place in the Central Division after opening the season with a 6-5 overtime loss to the Baltimore Blast and a 7-6 regulation loss to the St. Louis Ambush.

Wave keeper Josh Lemos is one of four Wave players out with visa issues. Lemos’ replacement is MASL journeyman Matt Perrella, a 30-year-old keeper who is with his fourth team in four seasons, posting a 6-12 career record in 20 appearances.

Milwaukee scored on their only powerplay opportunity this season. They rank last in the division with a .400 penalty kill percentage, conceding three powerplay goals from five short-handed penalties.

Under head coach Giuliano Oliviero the Wave still have plenty of familiar talent, including Ian Bennett, Marcio Leite and Luan Oliveira.

Players to Watch:

Ian Bennett - Fresh off winning his first MASL MVP award in his loan season with the Florida Tropics, Bennett sits on 446 career goals, six of which have come in two games this season. The Comet-killer has scored in 28 straight games against KC, in which he has scored 70 goals in those 28 games, last being held without a goal in the 2015 MASL playoffs. The Candian has 16 career hat tricks against KC, 10 of which have come in KC. Bennett has 91 goals in 62 games against the Comets, with 47 goals in 29 games versus KC in KC.

Alex Bradley - Another attacking threat to watch with 15 goals in 18 games against the Comets. The Englishman has gotten better each season he’s been playing and has one goal from five shots this season.

Derek Huffman - Veteran defender in his second season with the Wave will be making his season debut after serving a two-game suspension. Can do work offensively, but has a more defensive-minded presence.

Final Predictions

Both games are going to be tight contests. There is still a lot to learn about this version of the Wave and how they matchup with the current version of the Comets, which has significantly transformed since the last time these two teams met.

I predict an 8-7 win for the Comets at home on Wednesday and a 6-4 Wave win in Milwaukee on Friday.