Curiel’s Two Goals Enough to Hold Off Comets

by Sydney Nusinov

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (December 10, 2016) – For the first time this year in a Cedar Rapids Rampage game a team scored first and never relinquished the lead. The Rampage raced out to a 5-0 lead and narrowly held on for an 8-7 win over the Kansas City Comets Saturday night at the US Cellular Center, running their win streak to five in a row.

Cedar Rapids had lost the only prior game where they scored the first goal of the game and had gained four of their wins in games where they trailed 2-0. Lead changes had been a popular occurrence in the Rampage’s first seven games.

Now at 6-2, the Rampage have surpassed their win total for the entire 2015/16 season when they went 5-15 as an expansion team, and now have a two game lead in the Central Division over the 3-3 Comets. The Chicago Mustangs (4-2) lost 11-8 to the Milwaukee Wave (4-4) putting the Rampage in sole possession of first place.

The teams traded bunches of goals. Cedar Rapids got the first five and the Comets got the last four. Pat Kelly scored 12 seconds into the game and by the middle of the second quarter the Rampage led 5-0. Kansas City scored three of the next four goals to cut the Cedar Rapids lead to 6-3.

Angel Curiel, who had just one goal in seven games this year, scored twice in 15 seconds to grow the lead to 8-3 with 6:22 to go in the third quarter. From there the Comets chipped away at the lead and eventually found themselves down just one goal when Lucas Rodriguez scored with 9:36 to go. The Comets couldn’t dent the net again even after they pulled their goalie for the final 1:58.

While Curiel broke out of his scoring drought, rookie Derek Huffman scored his first professional goal, which gave Cedar Rapids at 3-0 lead at 11:58 of the first quarter.

Seven different Rampage players scored on a night when leading scorer Gordy Gurson was held to one goal and one assist. The eight goals scored matched a season high for Cedar Rapids.