by Jim Fossell

St. Charles, Missouri (January 14, 2022) – The St. Louis Ambush handed the Kansas City Comets their first loss of the season when they pulled off a 6-5 nail-biter of a win Friday night at the Family Arena. The win improved the Ambush to 4-5, while Kansas City leaves town at 6-1.

St. Louis got off to a quick start when Mohamed Ndiaye scored 1:17 into the match. Kansas City answered 18 seconds later when Christian Anderaos found the back of the net. The visitors took the lead when Ambush goalkeeper Eduardo Cortes came out of the goal mouth to make a save and Kansas City’s Rian Marques was able to get off a shot from close range to make it 2-1 at 7:12 of the first quarter. The Ambush went on a power play when Kansas City was called for two many men on the field at 11:55. They would not waste the opportunity as JT Thomas scored on a restart off a pass from Ndiaye at 13:13 to make it a 2-2 game.

The Comets regained the lead when they were the first to score in the second frame. Matt Lewis took a shot that came off the board and found the foot of John Sosa, who put it in goal at 8:35. Neither team scored in the quarter, giving Kansas City a 3-2 lead at halftime.

The Ambush drew even after officials charged a flurry of penalties against the Comets. James Togbah earned a blue card for jumping high and kneeing JT Thomas in the head, then Matt Lewis got a yellow card for dissent, followed by a red card ejection for abusive language when Lewis continued to verbally assault the referees. All of that action occurred at 8:14 of the third quarter, giving the Ambush a power play for the blue card. At 9:09, Ndiaye sent a pass across the goal to a waiting Thomas who pounded it into the net to knot the score at 3-3.

The Ambush took a 4-3 lead at 3:22 of the final stanza when Ado Jahic sent a long pass to Vadim Cojocov, who caught Comets goalkeeper Nicolau Neto out of the goal and nailed the go-ahead goal. Kansas City tied the match once again when Ray Lee placed a shot out of Pollo’s reach at 4:56. The Comets took a 5-4 lead when Ali Sodal put the ball in the top of the net with 6:01 remaining in the contest. St. Louis tied the duel when Ndiaye caught Neto flat-footed and put the ball in the back of the goal at 12:43. The Ambush got a power play when James Togbah was sent to the sin bin for boarding at 13:16. Tony Walls answered the call for St. Louis when he scored the game-winner at 13:32. The final score was 6-5.

Friday’s battle also marked the return of Eduardo “Pollo” Cortes, who had previously played one game with the Ambush earlier in the season. Cortez was signed this week for the remainder of the season. With starter Paulo Nascimento out for the season following ACL surgery and Rafael Dias out of action due to visa issues, the Ambush goalkeeper situation has been somewhat unsettled during their first eight games. Cortes previously played with the Ambush under a one-game contract during a road trip to Dallas, then did the same for the San Diego Sockers when regular keeper Boris Pardo was out due to COVID protocols. Cortes played well in both those games, allowing only two goals against Dallas (playing for the Ambush) and only three goals against Ontario (playing for San Diego). The signing paid immediate benefits for the Ambush. In Friday's game, Cortes made 23 saves on 28 chances for an impressive .821 save percentage. He improved his season record to 3-0 with the win.

The Ambush will be back in action Sunday when the Chihuahua Savage come to town for a 3:05 p.m. matinee affair at the Family Arena. Following Sunday’s action, the Ambush play three on the road, visiting the Harrisburg Heat on January 28, the Florida Tropics on January 30 and the Milwaukee Wave on February 6 before  returning to The Family Arena to host The Savage on February 11.

Tickets for all remaining Ambush home games are available at the Family Arena box office and at Fans can stay current on all Ambush news by visiting the team’s official website, and on social media outlets.