Comets close regular season with rare visit to Harrisburg
The playoff-bound Kansas City Comets (10-9-4) are headed to Harrisburg for the first time since 2015 to wrap up the regular season with a Saturday visit to the Harrisburg Heat (6-15-1).
The Comets already have a playoff seed clinched but are looking to guarantee a home playoff game with a win in Harrisburg and a Utica City FC loss at home against the Baltimore Blast. With those results, the Comets would jump to fourth in the standings and host the play-in game against Utica on Monday, April 10 at Cable Dahmer Arena.
The Comets could also skip the play-in game by finishing third in the East but would need the Florida Tropics to lose both of their games this weekend in regulation against the St. Louis Ambush.
Out for the Comets are Steven Tekesky (left thumb fracture), Rian Marques (right ankle sprain), James Togbah (concussion protocol) and Nacho Flores (right shoulder dislocation). Milos Vucic (right hamstring strain), Henry Ramirez (left hamstring strain) and Akins Banton (left hip flexor strain) are doubtful while Lalo Alonso (right ankle sprain) is probable.
The Comets are 2-0 all-time in Harrisburg and 8-0 overall against the Heat, but Saturday’s trip will not be easy for a Comets team that struggles on the road with a 2-6-3 away record. The Heat have a 5-5 record at home and are returning home for the first time since March 12, winning two of their last three at Equine Arena.
Both sides are coming from a meeting at Cable Dahmer Arena last Sunday in which the Comets clinched a playoff spot with a 9-4 win. Newcomer Mads Falck had an assist and a goal in the first quarter before John Sosa and Zach Reget took control to combine for six points. Leo Gibson also recorded his 300th career regular-season goal for the Comets in the fourth quarter to finish off a critical home win.
The Reget-Sosa-Sousa-Gibson combination has tallied 132 points this season with each getting reaching the 30-point marker.
Harrisburg head coach Pat Healey brings his side into the final weekend of the season looking to spoil some playoff plans. Harrisburg could upend the Comets’ plans of climbing the table Saturday before a showdown Sunday with the Milwaukee Wave in which they could help unseat the Wave of their Eastern Conference crown.
Both midfielder Danny DiPrima and former Comet forward Dominic Francis have 12 goals after they each had two points last weekend in KC with the Heat duo each grabbing a goal and an assist. Harrisburg’s leader in points, Malcolm Harris, will look to build his 20-point campaign after being held scoreless on two shots last weekend. Former Comets midfielder Lesia Thetsane will also look to add to his 19-point season after tallying nine points in the previous three games before being shut out last weekend in KC.
The Heat will be without former Comet forward Mike Da-Silva (one-game penalty point accumulation suspension) on Saturday.