The Kansas City Comets suffered a 5-4 loss against the Baltimore Blast in front of a crowd of 4,559 on Saturday night.
The Blast took the lead 11 minutes into the contest when Lucas Roque scored the opener. The Eastern Conference’s leading scorer used the boards to his advantage as he knocked the ball off the wall twice to get past Nicolau Neto before backheeling it into an empty net as he fell to the floor.
Zach Reget put the Comets on the board two minutes into the second quarter as he finished a swift counterattack. The attack started when Neto scooped up a shot before quickly distributing to Ramone Palmer on the right as he broke away alongside Reget in a 2 v 1 situation with Reget applying the exclamation point.
Baltimore went back in front 2-1 shortly after as Jonatas Melo scored a power play goal for the visitors. The Comets went down 3-1 when Josh Hughes scored a tap-in for his second of the season as the Blast sliced through the Comets with ease.
The Comets had an opportunity to cut the lead in half as Reget’s bicycle effort on frame was kept out by the left arm of defender Nelson Santana, drawing a penalty kick for a handball. John Sosa stepped up and dispatched the penalty low to the left corner as the Comets trailed 3-2 at halftime.
Baltimore’s two-goal advantage was restored in the third quarter when Tony Donatelli took credit for the goal as his pass across the goal was deflected in by Leo Gibson.
The Comets cut the lead in half when Benji Monreal scored his first of the season 3:26 into the fourth quarter. Monreal set the ball to his left foot and faked a shot before pulling the trigger and finding the top corner as the goalkeeper was routed to the ground left only to watch.
With 7:20 remaining in the contest, Ray Lee pulled the Comets level with his eighth goal of the season. Lee hit a low left-footed drive from the left side just behind the yellow line that managed to squeeze into the far corner.
Just moments after the Comets leveled the score at 4-4, the Blast went back in front when Juan Perreira scored to make it 5-4 favoring the visitors. Baltimore hit the Comets with another quick counter with 6:49 remaining as Perreira was left wide open on the far side.
It appeared the Comets had once again found the equalizer when Nacho Flores scored after quickly restarting play with 3:07 left. However, after an official-initiated review, the goal was called off because the ball was not stopped for the restart.
Still down 5-4, the Comets were unable to find the equalizer as they suffered their third loss at home this season and saw the gap between Kansas City and Baltimore increase to six points.
The Comets outshot the Blast 44-21 as Blast goalkeeper William Vanzela saved 21 shots.
“We have to do things a little bit better and continue to persevere,” said head coach Leo Gibson. “We have to stay mentally tough and continue to try.”
The Comets are back in action less than 24 hours later as they visit the Milwaukee Wave on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. The Comets return home next Saturday, March 18 when they host the Florida Tropics.