by Jim Fossell

Independence, MO (March 23, 2019) – The St. Louis Ambush lost 10-7 to the Kansas City Comets Saturday night at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence. The loss drops the Ambush to 10-13 on the season, while the Comets improved to 11-10. Both teams came into this match competing for the second playoff berth in the MASL South Central Division. While the Ambush aren’t yet numerically eliminated, the loss all but erased their playoff hopes. In order to still earn a trip to the postseason, the Ambush would have to defeat the 18-3 Milwaukee Wave next Friday and the Comets would have to lose all three of their remaining games.

Lucas Almeida put St. Louis on the board first when he fired a high shot out of reach of Kansas City goalkeeper Max Saxby at 7:01 of the first quarter. The Ambush went up 2-0 on a restart goal by Magui at 13:18. With less than a minute remaining in the period (14:13), the Comets answered when Mirko Sandivari found the back of the net to make the score 2-1.

The Comets knotted the score (2-2) when Ambush goalkeeper Paulo came too far out of the area to clear the ball and was not able to get back before Kiel Williams put the ball into the empty net at 1:42 of the second stanza. St. Louis regained the lead when Mario Marcos found the target on a long shot at 2:05. The Ambush increase the lead to 4-2 when Stefan St. Louis nutmegged Saxby at 9:20. The Comets got one back when Kevin Ellis navigated a shot past defender Rob Acosta and Paulo at 11:21. The back-and-forth continued when Stefan St. Louis nailed his second tally of the contest at 12:07 to give the Ambush a 5-3 lead that they would take into halftime.

Kansas City drew first blood in the second half when Paulo made a save that resulted in a loose ball that Anthony Grant was able to get a foot on and blast it into the net at 1:12 of the third quarter. The Comets went on a power play when JT Thomas was sent to the penalty box at 4:07. The penalty would be costly for the Ambush as James Togbah scored at 5:12 to tie the match (5-5) for the second time. Kansas City took their first lead (6-5) of the contest when Stefan Stokic sent a wall pass to Ignacio Flores, who was able to beat Paulo at 5:31. Kansas City was awarded another power play when Zach Reget earned a two minute visit to the sin bin for contact above the shoulder at 8:52 of the third period. As it did earlier in the game, the penalty was a costly one as Leo Gibson scored at 10:50 to give his team a 7-5 lead they would hold until the third period elapsed.

Kansas City increased their lead to three (8-5) on their fifth consecutive goal, courtesy of Gibson, 36 seconds into the final frame.  The Ambush squandered a golden opportunity to close the gap when they failed to score with a two-man advantage. A blue card was issued to Flores at 2:08 for tripping and another to Ramone Palmer for boarding at 2:47, but the Comets successfully killed off both power plays. The Ambush chipped away at the lead when Reget navigated a difficult angle to beat Saxby at 10:39 to make the score 8-6. With the sixth attacker in play for the Ambush, Ramone Palmer scored at 12:03 to regain the Comets’ three-goal lead (9-6). The Ambush answered when Lucas Almeida got his second of the night at 12:54. With St. Louis still employing the sixth attacker, Gibson completed the hat trick with an empty-netter at 13:15 to make the score 10-7. The last nail in the Ambush coffin came from Ellis, who scored his second of the evening at 14:41.

Games between these two Missouri rivals are usually intense, but this match proved to be particularly heated. Officials handed out eight blue cards in the game, four to each team. The Ambush committed 28 fouls, while the Comets were charged with 13. Tempers flared late in the fourth quarter, with a melee nearly breaking out on the field while the clock ran out with seconds remaining. Fortunately, both teams will have the summer to cool off as Saturday’s game was the last between the Ambush and Comets for the 2018-19 season. The Ambush won the season series 4-2.

The Ambush close out the season at home when they welcome the Wave to the Family Arena next Friday, March 29 at 7:35 p.m. CDT. The first 1,000 fans in attendance that night will receive Ambush Player Card Set 5.

For fans unable to catch any game in person, all Ambush games are webcast live at Group and single game tickets are on sale for the March 29 season finale. For more information, call the Ambush office at 636-477-6363. Keep up to date on all Ambush news by following the official website, and on Facebook and Twitter.