The Heat was on at the Family Arena Friday night as the Harrisburg Heat handed the St. Louis Ambush a 7-5 loss. Harrisburg improved to 5-6, while the Ambush dropped to 1-12.
The Heat went on a power play when Ambush defender Dylan Hundelt was sent to the penalty box just 38 seconds into the game. Harrisburg made good on the man advantage as Neto scored at 2:33. The Ambush drew even when Victor France scored the equalizer at 4:14. The Ambush took a 2-1 lead on a restart when Nick Kolarac passed to Nate Kast, who passed to Daniel Berko, who fired the ball into the net at 10:49. St. Louis went up 3-1 when Lucas Almeida went on a breakaway and nutmegged Harrisburg goalkeeper Hugo Silva at 11:45. The first quarter expired with St. Louis ahead 3-1.
The second quarter remained scoreless until the 10:44 mark, when Neto found the back of the net for his second goal of the contest. Neither team scored again and the buzzer sounded to start halftime with the Ambush holding a 3-2 lead.
The second half would see Harrisburg draw even, then take the lead less than a minute later. Ricardinho tied the match with his goal at 4:45 of the third quarter, followed by the go-ahead tally by Dominic Francis at 5:42. Harrisburg increased the lead to 5-3 when former St. Louis Steamer Marcos Chantel scored at 11:12.
Harrisburg increased their lead to three (6-3) when Darvin Ebanks scored on a restart at 1:59 of the final stanza. Harrisburg got a power play opportunity when Richard Schmermund was sent to the penalty box at 5:47 for accumulating four fouls in the half and it was an opportunity they made good on when Fernando Gatica scored at 6:25 to make the score 7-3. The Ambush chipped away at the lead when Kentaro Takada scored off a pass from Ross MacGregor at14:24. St. Louis wasn’t finished yet, as Almeida scored his second of the night from beyond the yellow line at 14:48, but it was too late to stage a comeback as time ran out with the Heat posting a 7-5 win.
Head Coach Tony Glavin discussed how the team can improve. “Most of all, we have to keep positive,” Glavin said, “and that’s not easy when you’re losing but I know our players are capable of doing it, just not for 60 minutes yet.” Glavin added that he felt Harrisburg played very well and “capitalized on our weaknesses.”
Ambush co-captain Lucas Almeida who had two goals said, “We just have to come in every day and keep working at it and at some point it’s going to turn around.”
The Ambush will be back in action this Sunday, January 23, when they host the Milwaukee Wave at the Family Arena at 3:05 p.m. Following that contest, the Ambush will take to the road for two. On Sunday, January 29, the Ambush and Baltimore Blast square off for the first time this season at 3:05 p.m. CT at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. The Ambush and the Cedar Rapids Rampage meet for the second time this season when the Ambush visit the US Cellular CenterFriday, February 3 at 7:05 p.m. The Ambush are slated to return to the Family Arena to host the Kansas City Comets on Saturday, February 4 at 7:05 p.m.