Rodriguez nets three as Tropics win third straight, defeating St. Louis 9-4

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. – Coach Clay Roberts set a goal of going seven-for-seven on the Florida Tropics current homestand. The team is almost halfway there.

Marco Rodriguez scored three goals – the third hat trick in franchise history – and the club set a record for most goals in a game as they defeated the St. Louis Ambush, 9-4, before a Sunday night crowd of 3,041 at the Lakeland Center.

It was the Tropics third straight win – all at home as part of a seven-game home stand that continues Jan. 27 – and fourth in their last five games dating back to an 8-7 win in Kansas City on Dec. 30.

Rodriguez entered the game with just two goals and two assists. Freddy Moojen and Victor Rojas both had three point nights too with two goals and an assist each. Anthony Arico and Lucas Teixeira also added goals for Florida, which climbed back to 6-7 on the year.

St. Louis got a goal 38 seconds into the game from Kory Dowell, but it was mostly the Tropics in control after that. The Ambush, which fall to 1-11 on the year, also got goals from Nick Kolarac, Lucas Almeida and Cody Costakis.

Piotr Sliwa picked up the win, his sixth of the season, credited with 13 saves on 17 shots. St Louis actually outshot the Tropics, 32-30, but the Florida defense was credited with 15 blocks.

Florida is off next weekend, but is back in action when the Kansas City Comets make a return visit to Lakeland on Jan. 27 in a 7:35 start. The homestand continues into February, with a Feb. 4 appearance by the Harrisburg Heat, and a double-header Feb. 11 and 12 with the Syracuse Silver Knights to close out the home portion of the regular season.

Tickets for all games are available at www.fltropics.com, or by calling 863-333-5353. All 20 Tropics games home and away are also broadcast free of charge at www.masl.tv.