After starting the season 0-3, firing their head coach, and bringing in four new signings, the Dallas Sidekicks have finally found the win column with a pair of victories against St. Louis.
Entering Friday’s matchup, St. Louis held a 2-2 record, compared to Dallas’ 0-3.
On Thursday night, Dallas hosted the St. Louis Ambush for the second time this season. Their first meeting was the Sidekicks’ home opener back on December 4, St. Louis rallied after an early Dallas lead to win 8-4 in that one but this weekend was a different story.
St. Louis took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter on Thursday behind goals from Tony Walls and Vadim Cojocov. Luis Moralez put Dallas on the board in the waning minutes of the 2nd quarter, leaving the home side down by 1 at halftime. The 3rd quarter saw St. Louis extend their lead to 3-1 in five minutes, which seemed to light a spark in the Sidekicks.
Dallas drew a penalty kick halfway through the 3rd quarter, and the returning Jamie Lovegrove buried the shot. Six minutes later, Felipe Silva brought the Sidekicks level as the 3rd quarter closed out. In the final period, Cody Ellis and Felipe Silva combined for a go-ahead powerplay goal less than three minutes in.
With the narrow one-goal lead, the reinforced Sidekicks defense kept the Ambush at bay, holding them to just 5 shots, which Juan Gamboa handled with ease. Despite pulling their goalkeeper for a 6th attacker with two minutes left, Dallas held strong for their first win of the season.
Early the next morning, both sides returned to St. Louis for an afternoon rematch.
Dallas came out swinging, with Gustavo Piedra drawing first blood in the first six minutes. Jamie Lovegrove added a brace in the tenth minute of the 2nd quarter for their largest lead since the home opener. A single goal from the Ambush’s Lucas Almeida in the final seconds of the half cut Dallas’ lead to 2-1 entering halftime.
Less than 3 minutes into the 3rd quarter, Vadim Cojocov brought the Ambush level, the closest the game would be the rest of the afternoon. Dallas responded with their strongest quarter this season, scoring 3 goals in the next 5 minutes to retake the lead, 5-2. Despite being out-shot 10 to 7 in the 3rd, the Sidekicks held strong to enter the final frame with a comfortable lead. In the 4th quarter, St. Louis shot often and hard, out-shooting the Sidekicks 14 to 7, yet Dallas made their shots count.
David Ortiz added a 6th for Dallas midway through the 4th, leading St. Louis to once again go for the 6th attacker. The Sidekicks immediately made them pay, with two empty-net goals from Ortiz and Moralez in just 31 seconds.
The Ambush managed to find a third goal in the final few minutes, but Dallas once again held strong to win their second game against the Ambush in under 24 hours. This marked the end of a 26-game road losing streak, dating back to February 4, 2019.
Dallas now improves to 2-3 on the season, good for 6 points in the standings and 2nd place in the Central Division behind the 5-0 Kansas City. St. Louis drops to 3rd place with a 2-4 record, ahead of last-place Milwaukee on 0-3-1.
The Sidekicks have another quick turnaround, traveling to Milwaukee on Sunday for a 1 p.m. kickoff.