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Chicago Riot playoff hopes dealt critical blow in losses to Wave and Comets

The Chicago Riot were hoping to win both games this weekend, first with the Wave Saturday night, and then today against the Comets.  However, their plans were derailed with a 20-4 drubbing by a very strong Wave team, and a close 9-7 loss to Missouri.  Follow me after the break for a quick recap...

The matchup with the Wave started out slowly scoring wise.  The first quarter was a staunch defensive battle, with the period ending in a 0-0 score.  Milwaukee changed this in the 2nd quarter though, as Marco Terminesi kicked off scoring with a 3 point goal.  This was followed up by two point tallies from Ian Bennett and Kyt Selaidopoulos.  Terminis is definitely on a tear, improving his points streak to 24 straight games.  Wave goalkeeper Nick Vorberg had a strong 1st half, notching 9 saves. The Riot struggled to put much of anything together in the first half, and the Wave defense really tightened the screws.  The halftime deficit was bleak for a Riot fan at 7-0.

Eric Lukin finally got the Riot on the board with a 2 point score, after the Wave had drawn first blood in the 3rd quarter on a Ryan Mack goal.  Terminisi would go on to score another goal before the 3rd quarter ended, leaving the Riot looking up at a large 11-2 hole.

Travis MacKenzie would strike for a 2 pointer to open up the 4th quarter.  Evan McNeley poured on more misery with a 3 point goal to put the Wave far, far ahead at 16-2.  The Riot deserve credit, as they could have easily given up but didn't.  Miki Djerisilo netted a tally for the Riot to put another two points on the board, but he unfortunately followed that up with 2 quick penalties.  The Wave capitalized on the power play with a goal by Hewerton, and the final score ended in a 20-4 drubbing.

All hope was not lost, as a win vs. the Comets could have strengthened Chicago's playoff hopes.  Missouri controlled the opening minutes of the game, but Eric Lukin scored on a restart goal to give the Riot a 2-0 lead.  Leo Gibson fired back for the Comets, netting a 2 pointer to knot the score at 2 all.  The Riot took control of play in the 2nd quarter, but could not convert on two breakaway chances that would prove to be big later on down the stretch.  Not much else happened during the first half, with the Riot and Comets tied at 2.

The Comets had a power play opportunity in the late in the 3rd, but the Riot stood tall and killed the power play.  The Riot then had their own power play, and they made Missouri pay, with a 3 pointer from Novi rattling home in the net for a 5-2 Riot edge.  The Riot then took advantage of a 2nd power play, as Miki Djirisilo scored to give the Riot a 7-2 lead and a lot of confidence heading into the 4th and final quarter.  Alas, the lead would not last.

Byron Alvarez then converted a penalty kick for Missouri to close the gap to 7-4.  Vahid Assadpour then hit a dagger of a 3 point goal to tie the game at 7.  Alvarez scored his second goal of the game, and the Comets had reeled off a 7-0 run to take a 9-7 lead.  Jeff Richey had a last gasp 3 point shot, but the shot sailed into the stands to end the game and put a serious dent in the Riot's playoff chances.

Technically, the Riot are still in the picture as far as playoffs are concerned, but they will have to win all 4 of their final games, and the 3rd place Omaha Vipers have to lose their last 3 for the Riot to even have a chance at the playoffs.  Although the chances are very dim, the Riot will fight until the end, and you never know what can happen.  Their next games are 2/26 and 2/27 against the Comets and Blast.  Get out to the Odeum and catch the Riot before the season ends.  Let's hope the Riot can pull off a miracle!