The Kansas City Comets’ hunt for the Central Division title will continue another week after the Comets suffered their first-ever home defeat to the Dallas Sidekicks, losing 7-3 on Sunday.
It was a flat performance from the hosts, who remain just one win — or a Dallas loss — away from winning the Central Division. Scoring just three times, KC still outshot Dallas in every quarter, concluding the game outshooting the visitors 45-26.
“Everything that happened today was just unacceptable,” player-coach Leo Gibson said after Sunday’s defeat. “Not at home, not at this time of the season and not the kind of team we have.”
Goalkeeper Steven Hamersky got his second straight start in goal since returning on loan from the Wichita Wings, filling in for the injured Nicolau Neto and Lou Misner.
The Sidekicks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Among the disappointments of the game was KC failing to score on a 5 on 3 power play when they were down 2-0.
The Comets managed to get back into the game in the second quarter after Leo Gibson’s 23rd goal of the season.
Gibson assisted Lucas Sousa’s 20th goal of the season, making it 3-2 just 32 seconds into the third period. Nick McDonald scored the equalizer several minutes later to make it 3-3.
As the Comets missed their fourth power play opportunity of the day at the end of the third quarter, the Sidekicks regained control of the game in the final frame. With just under 10 minutes left, a set-piece traveled from distance and through traffic to beat Hamersky, giving Dallas the 4-3 lead.
Still without an answer, the Comets turned to the sixth attacker with more than four minutes remaining in the contest. The execution of the sixth attacker was far from ideal, beginning with Gibson pulling on the jersey and conceding a goal to make it 5-3 with 3 minutes, 24 seconds left. James Togbah then assumed the sixth attacking duties, only to concede another couple of goals as Dallas came away with the 7-3 victory.
“The sixth attacker was bad,” Gibson said. “Everything was just off today. That’s something that we will revisit and try to fix.”
The goal below summed up the day for the Comets.
Hamersky ended the day with 11 saves, picking up his first loss of the season for KC.
The 11-point lead for the Comets (12-6-1; 38 points) over second-place Dallas (10-10-1; 30 points) is back down to eight points.
With four games remaining, the Comets will look to clinch the division next weekend when they host the St. Louis Ambush. Less than 24 hours later, the Comets visit the Milwaukee Wave.