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KC Comets vs St. Louis Ambush: Quarterfinal Preview and Predictions

Best of three series, requiring the Comets to win on the road.

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Rian Marques has been dangerous in his rookie season
Thad Bell

Ron Newman Cup Playoffs- Quarterfinal Round

Game 1

Kansas City Comets vs St. Louis Ambush

When: Friday, March 26, 7:05 p.m. CST

Where: Cable Dahmer Arena, Independence, Missouri

Tickets: Ticketmaster

How to Watch: MASL Playoff Pass or Single Game Pass

The Kansas City Comets and the St. Louis Ambush will faceoff for a best of three series for the opening round of the 2021 Ron Newman Cup Playoffs.

Game one of the series will be in Kansas City on Friday before game two and possibly a third mini-game will be hosted in St. Louis on Sunday.

There has been one change for the playoffs this year with the expansion of video review. Each team will be allotted one challenge a game and another challenge if a game reaches overtime, however, challenges in regulation cannot be carried over into overtime.

Coaches can initiate a challenge by tossing a challenge flag onto the field during the next stoppage of play. For a call to be overturned, there must be indisputable evidence and the league aims at keeping the reviews under 90 seconds.

After a 1-4 start to the season, the Comets battled back to end the season winning six of their final seven games. The Comets enter as the three seed and selected the Ambush.

With a regular-season record of 7-5, the Comets will be looking to win their first playoff series since 2016 when they beat the Milwaukee Wave in the Conference Finals.

Now in the second season with Leo Gibson as player-coach, the Comets finished the season with a league-leading 7.7 goals per game and 92 total goals. Gibson led KC with 20 points from eight goals and 12 assists in the regular season while rookie forward Rian Marques scored a team-leading 12 goals.

In 31 games between the Comets and Ambush, the Comets hold a record of 22-9. The hosting team has won the last eight meetings, which includes four losses for the Comets in St. Louis.

The Comets recorded a home record of 6-2 throughout the regular season while the Ambush were 1-3 on the road.

St. Louis Ambush

Ambush head coach Hewerton Moreira has guided his side to the playoffs as the fourth seed with a record of 8-7. The Ambush finished the regular season with two wins over the Tacoma Stars and Dallas Sidekicks.

St. Louis enters this matchup as the second-worst defensive team in the MASL, conceding 5.9 goals a game. Goalkeeper Paulo Nascmineto has a 7-4 record and is tied with Comets keeper Nicolau Neto with a .706 save percentage.

Ambush defender Vadim Cojocov leads St. Louis with 13 points from nine goals and four assists. Tony Walls and Lucas Almeida were next in line with 12 points each in the regular season.

As the Ambush enter their first postseason in franchise history, they may be without their big offseason signing Max Ferdinand. The former Milwaukee Wave and Baltimore Blast forward missed the last three games for St. Louis. The Ambush will be without one of their leading defenders Stefan Mijatovic for game one as he serves a one-game suspension for violent conduct. Mijatovic led the league with 21 blocked shots in the regular season.

Game 2

Kansas City Comets @ St. Louis Ambush

When: Sunday, March 28, 3:05 p.m. CST

Where: The Family Arena, St. Charles, Missouri

How to Watch: MASL Playoff Pass or Single Game Pass

The Comets are entering dangerous territory for their return visit to St. Louis on Sunday, where they will have to win in a place where they have not done so since December of 2018. Since then, KC has lost four times with three coming by one score.

The Comets have been poor on the road overall, recording an away record of 3-11 over the past two seasons and 1-3 in 2021. The Ambush were 7-4 at home in the regular season.

If the series is split 1-1 by the end of game two, there will be a series-deciding mini-game, which will be a full 15 minutes. The mini-game would take place shortly after the conclusion of game two at The Family Arena.

Final Predictions

Many believe that the Comets-Ambush series is the series to watch. For me, all the pressure is on the Comets. A KC loss on Friday would put them in a desperate situation needing two wins on Sunday in St. Louis. A KC win on Friday would put pressure on them to finally win in St. Louis, a place where they have had major struggles recently.

For my final prediction, I’m going to predict a two-game sweep for the Comets. The Comets have been playing well and will rise to the occasion with another offensive explosion.