The St. Louis Ambush dropped an 8-4 contest in the first game of their MASL quarterfinal playoff series against the Florida Tropics Friday night at Axius Field at The Family Arena. Florida takes a 1-0 lead in the series, which concludes Sunday in Florida.
St. Louis wasted no time scoring when Will Eskay tapped in a loose ball just 28 seconds into the game. The Ambush were penalized for having too many men on the field, resulting in a power play for the Tropics, who made good on the opportunity when Ricardo Carvalho was able to get a high shot by St. Louis goalkeeper Pollo Cortes at the eight minute mark. Florida held onto the 2-1 lead through the end of the first quarter.
Florida grew their lead to 3-1 on an unassisted tally by Zach Reget in the third minute of the second period. St. Louis went on a power play of their own when Florida earned a blue card for too many men and capitalized on the chance when JT Thomas scored in the sixth minute to make the score 3-2. At halftime, Florida enjoyed a one goal lead.
The Tropics increased the lead to 4-2 when Reget nailed his second of the match in the second minute of the third frame. Reget completed the hat trick when Ricardo De Queiroz Diegues sent the ball into the board and it found the foot of Reget, who put it in the net in the seventh minute to increase Florida’s lead to 5-2.
Florida started pulling away in the fourth quarter on goals by Reget and Diegues within the first seven minutes to increase their lead to 7-2. Ambush head coach Jeff Locker pulled Pollo and employed the sixth attacker and the move paid off when Eskay scored his second of the match to make it 7-3. Less than two minutes later, Thomas scored his second to close the gap to 7-4. Florida would score again in the closing seconds of the match, on a restart, courtesy of Diegues, for a final score of 8-4.
The quarterfinal series in the Ron Newman Cup Playoffs continues with game two in Lakeland, Florida where the Tropics will host the Ambush Sunday, April 10 at 2:05 p.m. CDT at the RP Funding Center. If the series is tied after the second game, there will be a brief intermission, followed by an additional Extra Time Period of 15 minutes, which will be treated as an entirely new game. New lineups will be submitted just like the start of a new game. If tied after the Extra Time Period, then additional sudden death overtime periods will be played until a winner is determined.
Tickets for Friday’s playoff opener at The Family Arena are now on sale at The Family Arena box office and at ticketmaster.com. Fans can stay current on all Ambush news by visiting the team’s official website, stlambush.com and on social media outlets.