The Chicago Wolves scored four goals in a nine-minute stretch of the second period en route to a 6-2 victory over the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Center T.J. Tynan dished out four assists while forward Curtis McKenzie tallied two goals for Chicago (37-19-5-2), which increased its Central Division to three points over Iowa and Grand Rapids.
Forwards Gage Quinney, Keegan Kolesar, Tye McGinn and Brooks Macek also notched goals while goaltender Oscar Dansk (20-9-3) recorded 31 saves. The Wolves’ top line of Tynan, McKenzie and Kolesar combined for nine points.
“That line has stepped up here in the last 5-6 games,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “They got rewarded again tonight. They’ve been consistently playing hard. They’re doing a great job and we need them to. They’re stepping up and answering the challenge.”
Mitch Reinke and Jordan Nolan each scored for San Antonio (27-31-6-0) while netminder Jared Coreau (12-16-8) saved 20 shots.
Quinney scored the lone goal of the first period at the 5:27 mark, breaking up a San Antonio pass at the Wolves blue line before skating the loose puck down and depositing it past Coreau.
The Wolves broke open the floodgates in the second frame, going up 4-0 before the halfway point of the period.
Kolesar scored at the 3:41 mark on a slick passing play with Tynan and McKenzie. McKenzie picked a Rampage pocket near the left boards before passing the puck deep to Tynan. He slotted a pass to Kolesar, who skated through the Rampage defense and sent a shot over Coreau’s glove.
McKenzie added a goal at 7:01, scoring the Wolves’ fifth short-handed tally of the season. Tynan capitalized on a Rampage turnover in the neutral zone and skated the puck in on Coreau before passing the puck over to McKenzie near the top of the circles. McKenzie deked to his backhand and got Coreau to bite before pulling the puck to his forehand for his first goal of the night.
McGinn then capitalized on some puck luck at 9:43 to make it 4-0. Forward Tobias Lindberg dumped the puck into the corner of the Rampage zone and Coreau left his net to play the puck, but it took a weird bounce off the boards and ended up right in front of the Rampage net. Coreau raced back to his crease, but McGinn got to the loose puck first and scored his fourth goal since joining the Wolves in January.
Reinke scored off a faceoff in the Wolves’ zone at 10:37 to cut the lead to three, but McKenzie answered with his second of the period at 12:09. A rebound skittered to Tynan in the high slot and the forward sent a behind-the-back pass to McKenzie waiting at the back door.
Nolan cut into the Wolves’ lead at 12:50 with a slapshot from the right point, but Macek scored the dagger at the 14:06 point of the third period to seal the 6-2 win. Tynan slotted a cross-ice pass to Macek at the back door for his fourth assist of the game.
The Wolves start a five-game road trip at 7 p.m. Wednesday with an Illinois Lottery Cup clash at Rockford. Chicago returns to Allstate Arena on Saturday, March 30, for Salute to Military Families Night against Milwaukee.