Comets Clinch Playoff Spot with Win in Orlando
KISSIMMEE, Florida - The Kansas City Comets flew to Orlando, Florida with their sights on one goal: making the playoffs. Needing just one win in its final three games, the Comets hoped to take care of business in tonight's game against the Orlando SeaWolves. Five different players scored, including Kevin Ellis with two goals, to help the Comets claim a 7-6 victory and a spot in the postseason.
The Comets started the game with high pressure on the SeaWolves' back line. It created some great offensive chances for Kansas City, but left some risky gaps in the defense, much to the delight of Orlando.
There was no better player to start scoring for the night other than Leo Gibson. With the rocket volley goal, Gibson extended his scoring streak to eight games. Goalkeeper Mark Saxby recorded his third assist of the season.
Kansas City's high pressure came back to bite them only two minutes later as Derek Huffman found himself facing Saxby with only one Comets player catching up from behind. Huffman was able to even the score at 1-1.
The Comets kept up their high-pressure attack however. Orlando was able to keep the score even with some well-timed blocks, a few good saves from goalkeeper Rainer Hauss and even a header off the goal-line from one of their defenders.
The Comets were able to add a second goal before the quarter ended. Robert Palmer snuck in from the backside to receive a pass from Kiel Williams. As he surveyed the field Lucas Rodriguez made a run through the penalty box. Palmer put a beautiful pass through traffic to where Rodriguez simply had to redirect it over the keeper and into the net. This was Rodriguez' first goal since battling injuries on February 9.
Orlando struck quick to start the second quarter. Captain Joshio Sandoval blasted a shot into the top corner to bring the score to 2-2. The SeaWolves tried to add another quick goal, but Mirko Sandivari denied Goff and the SeaWolves from clutching the lead.
The Comets and the SeaWolves traded a few narrowly missing shots, blocks and the boards keeping the ball out of the net. Kansas City continued with the pressure, throwing numbers forward when presented with the chance.
It paid off as the Comets found themselves on a three vs one in front of Orlando's goal. John Sosa passed across the field to Kevin Ellis, who found Ramone Palmer patiently sitting next to the goal for the easy tap in midway through the second half.
Gordy Gurson slipped one past the Comets so the lead did not last long. This was Gurson's 30th goal this season, sitting atop of Orlando's team scoring list.
Kansas City started the second half with a man disadvantage due to a blue card late in the first half. The Comets' 58% penalty kill was put on display as they were able to keep Orlando from finding a goal.
The Comets gained the lead once again shortly after the start of the second half. This time off a turnover from the SeaWolves. Anthony Grant was the victor this time. And instead of following with another Orlando goal, Kevin Ellis put the Comets up by two less than two minutes after Grant's goal. Ellis finished off the third quarter on a power play goal, adding on to the team's league best .667 power play percent.
The SeaWolves started the final quarter on the comeback train. Osvaldo Rojas brought Orlando back within two less than a minute into the fourth quarter. Shots by Huffman and Gurson bounced off the crossbar and had the Comets on their heels.
However, their defensive efforts pulled out and Nacho Flores was able to add his name to the scorecard. Kansas City found themselves with a three-goal cushion with ten minutes left the game.
Orlando was not silenced yet though. With the sixth attacker advantage, Gurson netted his second goal of the night. The SeaWolves chomped at the bit to get one goal closer with a blue card against Kansas City. With a six versus four-man advantage, Orlando was not able to defeat the Comets' penalty kill magic.
The game took an unfortunate turn for Kansas City when an own goal (credited to Mario Alvarez) brought the SeaWolves within one. Fortunately, Orlando did not have enough time to send the game into overtime and the final 7-6 score fell in Kansas City's favor.
With the win, the Comets have clinched a spot in the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years. They will face the Milwaukee Wave on April 18 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena at 7:35 p.m. CT. The team will be sending out details on purchasing tickets soon.
Before the postseason can begin, the Kansas City Comets have a quick turnaround with a game tomorrow night against the Florida Tropics. Kick-off starts at 6:05 PM CT and can be seen on MASLtv and KCMI 38 the Spot. MASL Match Report
Match: Orlando SeaWolves vs Kansas City Comets
Date: March 29, 2019
Venue: Silver Spur Arena, Kissimmee, FL
Kickoff: 7:369 p.m. ET
1 2 3 4 F
Orlando SeaWolves 1 2 0 3 6
Kansas City Comets 2 1 3 1 7
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