The St. Louis Ambush overcame a four-goal deficit to defeat the Florida Tropics 7-5 Friday evening at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida. The victory improved the Ambush to 2-11, while Florida dropped to 6-6.
The Tropics got the lone tally in the first quarter when a shot by Victor Parreiras managed to elude both Ambush goalkeeper Paulo and defender Pablo Da Silva at 12:27.
The Ambush got a power play opportunity when Maycon Franca was sent to the penalty box for kicking 11:01 into the third quarter. It was an opportunity they would squander, however, as Anthony Arico scored a short-handed goal off a pass from Freddy Moojen at11:11. Less than a minute later, the Ambush got on the board when Jerjer Gibson took a shot that Tropics goalkeeper Piotr Sliwa blocked, but Pablo Da Silva was able to get a foot on the rebound and send it into the back of the net at 11:48. In the final minute of the first half, Ricardo De Queiroz Diegues beat Paulo at 14:52 of the second period to give the home Tropics a 3-1 lead over the visiting Ambush at halftime.
The Ambush struck early in the third quarter when Joao Pepe passed to Jerjer Gibson, then charged the goal in time to receive a pass back from Gibson and beat Sliwa with his shot at 1:42. Florida landed a power play opportunity when St. Louis midfielder Justin Stinson, playing in his first MASL game, earned a trip to the penalty box for sliding feet-first into Ty Hall at 4:13. The Tropics capitalized on the man advantage as Parreiras scored his second of the game at 6:07 to increase their lead to 4-2. Arico got his second of the night after going down then shooting from a sitting position, to increase Florida’s lead to 5-2 at10:28.
St. Louis roared back in the final stanza, scoring five unanswered goals. The first came3 when Jerjer Gibson found himself open near the goal and scored off a pass from Richard Schmermund at 1:08 of the fourth quarter. Less than a minute later, it became a one goal game when Pepe scored his second of the match at 1:57 to make the score 5-4. Clayton “Pedaleira” Matheus scored the equalizer for St. Louis when he took a restart pass from Pablo Da Silva and fired it into the net at 4:39. St. Louis went on a power play whenFlorida’s JP Reyes was sent to the penalty box with a blue card for contact above the shoulder at 7:58. This time, the visitors would not waste the opportunity, as Da Silva gave the Ambush their first lead of the contest (6-5) at 7:58. With Ricardinho in as the sixth attacker for Florida, Nestor Hernandez scored an empty-netter with 11 seconds left on the clock to nail down the 7-5 win.
Both goalkeepers turned in solid performances, with Paulo posting 24 saves on 29 save opportunities (.828 save percentage) for the Ambush, while Piotr Sliwa saved 22 on 28 opportunities (.786 save percentage) in goal for Florida.
The Ambush return home to the Family Arena on Friday, January 19 at 7:35 p.m. CT, when the Syracuse Silver Knights come to town.