After eight games of frustration and close calls, the St. Louis Ambush finally posted their first win of the season when they defeated the Cedar Rapids Rampage 6-5 in overtime Sunday at the Family Arena. The win improved the Ambush to 1-8, while the Rampage fell to 5-4.
The Ambush drew first blood when a shot by Robert Acosta rebounded off the glass to Nestor Hernandez, who promptly pounded it into the back of the net at 1:42 of the first quarter. Gordy Gurson tallied the equalizer for Cedar Rapids with his goal at 2:45. Hernandez sent a pass to Jerjer Gibson, who was able to beat Rampage goalkeeper Brett Petricek at 5:29. The Ambush took a 3-1 lead on Pablo Da Silva’s unassisted tally at 9:31. The Ambush went up by three when Stefan St. Louis, fighting off two Rampage players, sent a shot into the boards and in the direction of Dylan Hundelt, who fired the ball into the net at 13:20. The opening period expired with the Ambush leading 3-1.
At 1:51 of the second quarter, Robert Acosta was sent to the penalty box for a two-footed tackle, giving Cedar Rapids a man advantage. During the course of play, Ambush goalkeeper Paulo tried to clear the ball out of his end, but kicked it at Chris Mattingly’s body and the ball rebounded into the goal for an own goal, credited to Gordy Gurson, at 3:32.The visitors continued to shave the lead when Taylor Bond scored off a pass from Gordy Gurson at 8:35 to make it a one-goal game and a 4-3 Ambush lead at halftime.
Rampage player Tony Walls earned a trip to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct at 11:50 of the third quarter, giving the Ambush a power play opportunity. It was a chance they would capitalize on, as Gibson scored his second tally of the game at 13:05 to give St. Louis a 5-3 lead that held until the end of the period.
Cedar Rapids closed the gap 57 seconds into the fourth period when Tony Walls, positioned at the goal mouth, took a pass from Mohamed Kenaway and shot into the net to reduce the Ambush lead to 5-4. The Rampage drew even (5-5) when Taylor Bond found the back of the net at 12:19. With neither team scoring for the rest of the quarter, the game went into a ten-minute, sudden death overtime period.
The Ambush would not be denied in this game, as Hewerton passed to Clayton Matheus, who nailed a long shot at 1:45 of overtime to seal the win.
For player/head coach Hewerton, his first win with the Ambush felt “fantastic.” “It’s amazing,” Hewerton said, “The team deserves it, the fans deserve it. It’s not about me. It’s about this group of guys that’s been working extremely hard every day. People can’t imagine the amount of hard work these guys put together to come up with the first win. It was too long, but it was a matter of time until we got the first win.”
The Rampage won’t have to wait long for an opportunity to avenge the loss, as these two teams will battle again on December 22 in Cedar Rapids. The next Ambush home game is slated for New Year’s Eve, December 31 at 2:05 p.m. CT, when the Florida Tropics invade the Family Arena.