The Orlando SeaWolves went on the road for the first time in their MASL existence and things didn’t go well. Orlando’s offense was discombobulated, lacking sharpness and finishing and the first MASL Florida Derby went to the Florida Tropics in Lakeland’s RP Funding Arena, 9-6. The Tropics built an 8-1 lead before the SeaWolves woke up a bit and scored five consecutive goals to pull within 8-2 with under 30 seconds to play. The Tropics added one at the death for the final score line.
Orlando falls to 1-3 on the season and Florida improved to 3-3.
It was a sloppy first period, which featured only one goal but several good chances for both teams, as the goalkeepers took center stage. Rainer Hauss for Orlando and Hugo Silva of Florida each made at least three outstanding stops in the opening quarter.
Victor Parreiras scored the opener at the 9:15 mark of the first off an assist from Guilherme Dos Santos. That was it for the scoring in an opening period that saw 10 shots on frame and a number of big saves.
The Tropics doubled the lead just 26 seconds into the second quarter. Anthony Arico scored off a Freddy Moojen pass to make it 2-0. Florida scored three more in the second period, and had another called back due to too many men on the field. Moojen scored twice and Dos Santos added one as the Tropics built a 5-0 lead by halftime.
Orlando had back-to-back power plays but could not score. Lewis Neal had the SeaWolves’ best opportunities but he hit the crossbar once and had two point-blank tries denied by Silva.
The SeaWolves actually out-shot the Tropics, 19-15 in the first half. Orlando was 0-for-2 on the power play and Florida had all four of the game’s penalty minutes. The big difference in the half was the 10 saves Silva made and the odd-man rushes the SeaWolves allowed on the counter.
Orlando finally got on the board 23 seconds into the third, with Gordy Gurson powering one in from the right side to make it 5-1.
Orlando then got a quick power play when Tyler Turner was hit in the face by Enzo Marangoni and it appeared the SeaWolves would have a chance to gain momentum and climb back into the game. But instead it was the Tropics seizing momentum with a pair of shorthanded goals.
Parreiras scored his second of the game with a pinpoint accurate shot into the far corner as Hauss got caught too deep in his net. Then Hauss made an absolutely horror show turnover right in front of his net for Arico to tap home to make it 7-1.
Ricardo Diegues made it 8-1 on a breakaway after a horrible back pass by Neal got past everyone and the Tropics’ No. 9 was able to pounce on it first and take it down to the other end and score.
The SeaWolves pulled two back just before the end of the third period. Osvaldo Rojas was able to power one through Silva from the left side at the 12:33 mark and then Joshio Sandoval made it 8-3 with four seconds left in the half on a free kick.
Hey, we have a goal! Osvaldo Rojas gets one back. 8-2 Tropics now. pic.twitter.com/FIWatEkxZp— Orlando SeaWolves (@MCOSeaWolves) December 30, 2018
ANOTHER ONE! Yoshi Sandoval gets another one back off a beautiful free kick! 8-3 Tropics. pic.twitter.com/tDUmK69jVs— Orlando SeaWolves (@MCOSeaWolves) December 30, 2018
The fourth quarter was less eventful but the SeaWolves pulled within 8-4 on a second goal by Rojas.
GOAL! Osvaldo Rojas has a brace and it's a four goal game! 8-4 Tropics. pic.twitter.com/HZSduwJwhG— Orlando SeaWolves (@MCOSeaWolves) December 30, 2018
Time wound down on Orlando, which couldn’t complete the comeback, but Tyler Turner added his first indoor goal to make it 8-5 with just under two minutes to play.
Rojas completed his hat trick with just 28 seconds to play, but the Tropics added a third from Parreiras just about as time expired to complete the scoring. Orlando out-shot the Tropics, 29-23, but went 0-for-3 on the power play and the shorthanded goals against were a huge factor in the game. Florida has yet to allow a power-play goal this season.
These same two teams will do it again in the same venue on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:05 p.m.