by Jim Fossell

Milwaukee, Wisconsin (March 10, 2024) – The St. Louis Ambush dropped an 8-7 game to the Milwaukee Wave Sunday afternoon at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. In a back-and-forth battle that was tied six different times, the match was decided in a shootout that included a controversial video review that ultimately didn’t go in St. Louis’ favor. The victory improved the Wave’s season record to 14-5-2 (wins-losses-overtime losses), while the Ambush dropped to 4-10-6.

The opening stanza was devoid of scoring until the final minute when Milwaukee’s Cesar Correa poked a high shot into the upper net with 23 seconds left in the period.

St. Louis drew even in the fourth minute of the second quarter when William Eskay took a shot that came off the glass and found the foot of James Thomas, who had maneuvered into position and found his mark. The Ambush took a 2-1 lead in the sixth minute when Eskay’s speed propelled him through the Wave defense and he put the ball in the back of the net. Milwaukee knotted things up again in the seventh minute on a restart when Marcio Leite tapped the ball to Ricardo Carvalho who beat St. Louis goalkeeper Paulo Nascimento. Less than a minute later, the Wave regained the lead when the Ambush defense faltered, allowing Salvador Nunez to score. At halftime, the home team enjoyed a 3-2 lead.

Nearly six minutes into the third period, a shoving match between St. Louis’ Richard Schmermund and Milwaukee’s Derek Huffman resulted in simultaneous blue cards to each player for unsportsmanlike contact. Huffman would get a second blue card in the eleventh minute after he elbowed John A. Eskay in the head directly in front of the Ambush bench. The penalty wasn’t called initially, resulting in a challenge from St. Louis. After a video review by the referees, the blue card came out and Huffman was sent to the sin bin, resulting in a St. Louis power play. The Ambush made good on the advantage with a power play goal from Thomas. That lead lasted only 16 seconds, however, as Ricardo Carvalho answered for Milwaukee to make it a 4-3 game. Thomas made it a hat trick in the final minute of the quarter when Wave goalkeeper William Banahene stopped a shot but didn’t get control of the ball, which careened to Thomas, who pounded it into the net, resulting in the fourth tie of the match.

St. Louis regained the lead (5-4) in the third minute of the final frame on a restart when a shot by Richard Schmermund deflected off a Milwaukee defender and into the goal. Just under a minute later, the Wave went on a power play when St. Louis’ Curtis Kirby was blue carded for holding. Milwaukee made good on the opportunity on a goal from Max Ferdinand to once again knot the score (5-5). The home team got another power play when St. Louis’ Lucas Almeida was sent off for tripping in the sixth minute. It would prove to be a costly mistake for the Ambush as Derek Huffmann gave the Wave the lead once again when his shot hit the crossbar and came down behind the goal line for a 6-5 score. Carvalho notched a hat trick with a superb display of atheticism when he went airborne and caught Nascimento flat-footed in the tenth minute, giving the Wave a 7-5 advantage. The sixth blue card of the contest came out, this time on Milwaukee’s Tony Walls, for contact above the shoulder, giving the Ambush a power play in the tenth minute. The Ambush tallied a power play goal when Thomas took a shot that came off the board, deflected off a Wave defender and went into the net to inch St. Louis within a goal (7-6) of Milwaukee. It also marked Thomas’ fourth goal of the duel. In the thirteenth minute, the Wave were penalized for too many men on the field, giving the Ambush their third power play of the match. Using Nascimento as an attacker, St. Louis employed a super power play strategy and it worked. Richard Schmermund scored the equalizer for the Ambush to make it a 7-7 match with 53 seconds left on the clock, which elapsed without another goal, sending the game into sudden death overtime.

In the seventh overtime game of the season for St. Louis and their third against Milwaukee, neither team found the back of the net during overtime. The nail-biting continued as the game was decided by a shootout. 

James Thomas went first for St. Louis and was successful. Marcio Leite then shot and scored for Milwaukee. Wil Nyamsi was next up for St. Louis and Banahene stopped his shot. Carvalbo went next for the Wave and Nascimento made an incredible save. Lucas Almeida was next for St. Louis and scored, but in an incredible turn of events, after a video review, the goal was waved off because the ball had been placed a few inches off the yellow line. Almeida attempted again but didn’t score on his second attempt. On the last attempt for the Wave, Max Ferdinand scored, giving the Wave the victory.

The Ambush return home to The Family Arena next Sunday, March 17 at 2:05 p.m. CT to face the Kansas City Comets in the final home game of the season. March 17 is a double-header, with the Ambush 2 hosting the Iowa Raptors in an MASL 2 contest following the Ambush-Comets game.

All MASL games are available for viewing via webcast at Tickets for the March 17 home finale are now on sale. Call the Ambush office at 636-477-6363 for more information. Single game tickets can also be purchased online at Fans can stay current on all Ambush news by visiting the team’s official website, and on social media outlets.