Coming off a first-round bye, the Missouri Comets made quick work of the Milwaukee Wave in the first game of their divisional-round MASL playoff series at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Friday night.
Forward Leo Gibson scored five goals, Max Touloute had two and Ramone Palmer, John Sosa and Bryan Perez added one apiece as the Comets (18-3) held off a second-half rally by the Wave and gave themselves a chance to close out the series at home on Sunday.
The Wave got as close as two goals, 7-5, in the third period before the Comets pulled away. Ian Bennett had a hat trick for Milwaukee (15-8).
Gibson, the reigning MASL Most Valuable Player, added an assist and was named Man of the Match.
The Comets play host to the Wave in Game 2 (and 3, if needed) at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence. Game 2, with the Eastern Conference Championship on the line, is Sunday at 5:05 p.m.
Earlier Friday, Comets coach Vlatko Andonovski and goalkeeper Boris Pardo were revealed to be among the top three in their respective categories for the MASL Major Awards.
Andonovski led the Comets to their second straight Central Division title. Pardo was second in the regular season with 16 wins, 217 saves, a .711 save percentage and a 4.57 GAA.
Winners of the Major Awards will be announced next Thursday. All-league selections are due Tuesday.