Center Gage Quinney scored the game-winning goal with 1:13 remaining in regulation, helping the Chicago Wolves claim the Central Division title for the third consecutive year with a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Eagles on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
“I think it’s a great compliment to our guys — their work and their effort,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “To secure home ice and the top of the division is great. I give our guys a lot of credit. There’s been a lot of adversity and this is good, but there’s a lot of work left to be done.”
A.J. Greer and Logan O’Connor scored first-period goals for Colorado (34-26-4-1) while netminder Spencer Martin (8-10-2) recorded 24 saves.
With the clock winding down on the third period, forward Ryan Wagner poked the puck loose along the boards deep in the Colorado zone. An Eagle picked up the puck, but Quinney blocked his pass and skated the puck out to the crease. He baited Martin into dropping to the ice before roofing the puck over his blocker to seal the win at the 18:47 mark.
Greer opened the scoring 4:58 into the first period, crashing in on the Chicago net and pushing the puck out from under Dansk and into the net.
Coghlan evened the game up at the 5:38 point after Martin kicked away a shot from forward Matthew Weis. The rebound landed right on Coghlan’s stick and he rifled a shot in from the right circle while Martin was still out of position.
O’Connor gave Colorado a lead heading into the first intermission when he beat Dansk’s glove with a shot from the left boards at 16:58.
The Wolves squared the game up again just 53 seconds into the second period on Kolesar’s 19th goal of the year. Center T.J. Tynan dished a no-look pass through the neutral zone and Kolesar broke in on Martin all alone. Martin made the initial save, but the puck trickled behind him and Kolesar slammed home the loose puck as he crashed in on his own rebound.
The Wolves and the Eagles meet again at 3 p.m. Sunday at Allstate Arena with the first 1,000 kids receiving an admission pass to Santa’s Village Azoosment Park as part of the Family Sunday festivities.