Defenseman Shea Theodore collected a goal and an assist, but it was not enough as the Tucson Roadrunners edged the Chicago Wolves 4-3 Saturday night in their Allstate Arena debut.
Tomas Hyka and Paul Thompson also scored for the Wolves while goaltender Max Lagace (1-2-0) turned aside 25 shots in his third appearance. Center Wade Megan registered two assists in his 2017-18 Wolves debut.
“We turned over a lot of pucks that led to a lot of unsavory positions for us and for our goaltender,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “I feel that we can be a dominant team in the American Hockey League, but our execution was extremely poor tonight.”
Tucson (2-1-0-0) opened the scoring at 7:09 of the first frame when Dakota Mermis cashed in on a short-handed opportunity for the 1-0 lead.
The Wolves (1-2-1-0) countered at 13:01 of the period when Hyka sped up the right wing, zipped across the crease and tucked the puck behind Hunter Miska (1-0-0) to even the game.
The Roadrunners ended the period with a 2-1 lead when Kyle Wood sent a laser through a net-front screen past Lagace.
Less than a minute into the middle stanza — with Tyler Wong serving his second slashing infraction of the contest — Mike Sislo gave Tucson a two-goal lead from the top of the right circle.
With 5:32 left to play in the second period, Theodore accepted a pass from Megan, slipped up the right-wing boards and zipped into the slot where he put the puck past Miska to pull the Wolves within a goal.
During a 5-on-3 opportunity in the final three minutes of the frame, Thompson jammed home the 3-3 equalizer while standing on Miska’s doorstep.
With its goaltender pulled in favor of a sixth skater on a delayed penalty, Tucson netted the game-winning goal just 5:47 into the third period when Emerson Etem wristed a shot from the top of the right circle.
The rematch takes place at 4 p.m on Sunday, Oct. 22, at Allstate Arena as the Wolves host their first of 10 Family Sundays.