The St. Louis Ambush clawed out a 7-5 victory over the Florida Tropics Saturday night at The Family Arena. The win improved the Ambush to 5-8-1 on the season, while the Tropics dropped to 7-6-2. For the Ambush, it was an important comeback after losing 7-0 to Milwaukee Friday night. Head Coach Jeff Locker held a closed-door meeting with his team before the game and whatever was said must have resonated with the team as they played a hard 60 minutes and came away with the win.
After a scoreless first quarter, Florida got the first tally of the night when Vini Dantas snuck a shot through a cluster of players at the goal mouth in the sixth minute of the second period. The Ambush answered when Billy Stimac headed the ball into the goal nearly two minutes later. St. Louis knotted the score again in the tenth minute when Christian Briggs navigated a shot through Florida’s defensive wall and goalkeeper Chris Frederick. The Ambush took a 3-2 lead on Will Eskay’s goal, followed by a nice sequence when Eskay passed to Almeida, who sent a pass across the goal mouth to Wil Nyamsi, who put the ball in the net with just over a minute remaining, giving the Ambush a 4-2 edge at halftime.
The third quarter was a scoreless affair until the thirteen minute mark, when Eskay sent a pass to Almeida, who headed a high shot that Frederick got a hand on, but couldn’t stop from finding the net. Florida used the unusual tactic of the sixth attacker in the third quarter, but it worked when Ruggles found the back of the net to make the score 5-3 heading into the final stanza.
St. Louis increased their lead to 6-3 in the tenth minute of the fourth quarter when Pepe Junqueira passed across the penalty area to a charging Will Eskay, who pounded in his second goal of the contest. Florida wasn’t going away quietly though as they employed the sixth attacker again, resulting in a goal from Dantas to make it a 6-4 game. Florida continued to chip away at the lead as Julio Varela put a high shot out of reach of Ambush goalkeeper Paulo Nascimento in the thirteenth minute of the period to make it a one goal game (6-5). St. Louis provided one more thrill for the home crowd when Eskay completed the hat trick with 16 seconds left in the match for a 7-5 Ambush triumph.
Next for the Ambush is at to Milwaukee next weekend to square off with the Wave on Friday, February 17 at 7:35 p.m. CST. The next Ambush home game is a Presidents’ Day matinee affair against the Dallas Sidekicks on Monday, February 20 at 1:05 p.m. CST. All Ambush games are available for webcast at twitch.com.
Tickets for all Ambush home games are available from the Family Arena box office and ticketmaster.com. For season or group tickets, call the Ambush office at 636-477-6363.