The St. Louis Ambush dropped their 2017-18 season opener 10-8 to the Kansas City Comets Saturday night at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence.
The Comets drew first blood when Tanner Hunjak scored at 5:57 of the opening period. The Ambush tied the game on a goal by Victor France at 7:52. Kansas City answered less than a minute later (8:43) when Ignacio Flores found the back of the net. In the last minute of the quarter (14:26), France scored his second of the match to knot the score at two.
At 3:29 of the second quarter, Kansas City’s Ignacio Flores was sent to the penalty box for tripping, giving the Ambush their first power play of the season. It was an opportunity they capitalized on, as Joao Pepe scored at 3:44 to give the Ambush a 3-2 lead. The see-saw battle continued when Alvaro Beltran scored the equalizer for the home team at 6:13. Kansas City midfielder Lucas Rodriguez earned a trip to the penalty box for pushing at 10:08, giving the Ambush their second power play of the game and the quarter. Corey Adamson, positioned between the arc and yellow line, took a pass from Hewerton and fired it into the upper ninety to give the Ambush the go-ahead goal at 10:58, and sending the teams off for halftime with the visitors on top 4-3.
The lone tally of the third quarter came on the a power play when Richard Schmermund was granted a trip to the penalty box for boarding at 2:34, giving the Comets their first power play of the season. Flores completed the hat trick at 3:35 to make the score 4-4 heading into the final stanza.
Kansas City regained the lead at 1:24 of the fourth period when Patrick Kelly was able to beat Ambush goalkeeper Paulo Nascimento. Leo Gibson, the Comets’ leading scorer from last season, posted his first tally of the new season at 2:08 to give Kansas City a 6-4 lead. Victor France answered for the Ambush when he completed the hat trick at 3:09. Gibson scored another at 4:44 to regain the two-goal lead for the Comets. The Ambush answered when France took a pass from Lucas Almeida, turned and shot for his fourth goal of the match at 6:31. St. Louis drew even when a hard shot to the glass from Lucas Almeida careened to the far post and into the net. The Comets would regain the lead when Perez caught Ambush goalkeeper Nascimento out of the goal and buried an easy shot to make the score 8-7. Jerjer Gibson scored for St. Louis at 12:14 to knot the score again. Perez tallied his second of the night with a fast high shot at 13:08 to give the Comets a 9-8 lead. With time running out, Hewerton came in as the sixth attacker for the Ambush but unfortunately, the strategy backfired as Guerrero Pino scored for the Comets at 13:25 to nail down the 10-8 win.
Both teams had rookie goalkeepers minding the nets. Casey Gasson earned the win for the Comets, making seven saves on 15 attempts (.467). Nasicmento saved 11 on 20 chances (.550) for the Ambush.
Next up for the Ambush is their long-awaited home opener, when they host the Milwaukee Wave next Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 7:05 p.m. CT at the Family Arena. November 11 is also Veterans Day, and the Ambush will recognize our Veterans during the game.