by Pete Richmire/Comets

MILWAUKEE, WI. – The Comets (9-2-1) opened a home-and-home series with the Milwaukee Wave (6-6-1) at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Saturday night and in a wild contest were dealt an 8-4 loss in front of a loud crowd of 2,614. In a game that was very close otherwise, a four-goal Wave third quarter ultimately was the difference last night.

The Comets took a 1-0 lead when Lesia Thetsane had the ball near the right boards and cut to the center of the field inside the yellow line to shake a Milwaukee defender. Once he reached the top of the arc, he slid a low shot past Milwaukee keeper Matt Perrella to open the scoring with 8:10 to play in the first.

It looked like the Comets would escape the first without giving up a goal until Tyler Turner evened the game at 1-1 with just four seconds left on the clock. That set the pace for the first half as the game featured four tie scores with neither team having more than a one-goal lead until midway through the third quarter.

Kansas City went back up by one with 13:29 to go in the first half after John Sosa played a high ball into the right corner, where Leo Gibson took the rebound off the glass, turned, and bounced it past Perrella for a 2-1 lead.

Ian Bennett, who had three goals in the game, picked up his first on a solo effort to make it a 2-2 affair with 8:45 remaining in the half.

The Comets have had success on quick-goals off restarts this season and scored another courtesy of a Sosa to Thetsane connection from the top of the arc to give Kansas City their third lead of the game at 3-2 with 2:34 to go in the half.

That would turn out to be the briefest, and final lead of the game for the Comets after Bennet notched his second of the game 22 seconds after Thetsane’s goal to make it 3-3, the score the teams took to the break.

After the Wave grabbed their first lead of the game when Bennett found Derek Huffman for a goal with 8:54 left in the third, Rian Marques struck for the Comets a little over a minute later to make it a 4-4 contest. On a restart from the left boards, Sosa found an opening and fired a pass all the way through the box to a wide-open Marques who beat Perrella with his right foot for what proved to be the Comets’ final goal of the night.

Indeed, it was Andrew Wiedabach, Bennett, and Gordy Gurson who picked up the final three goals of the third quarter and the Wave had a 7-4 advantage headed to the last 15 minutes of play.

The only goal of the fourth quarter was Gurson’s second of the game and sealed the 8-4 win for Milwaukee.

The series will now shift to Cable Dahmer Arena Sunday with a 4 pm kick-off.