Forward Tyler Steenbergen swatted home a rebound with 3:37 left to break a tie and spark the Tucson Roadrunners’ 4-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves on Thursday night at Allstate Arena.
Forwards Gage Quinney and Valentin Zykov scored for the Wolves (26-26-5-2), who could have moved into third place in the Central Division with a victory.
Steenbergen’s game-winner came just 19 seconds after Zykov’s power-play goal pulled the Wolves into a 2-2 tie.
“Our power play got us back in the end to give us that opportunity to get a point, at least, and maybe take it to overtime,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “It wasn’t a bad game for us by any stretch of the imagination. I thought we had some really good looks and (Tucson’s Adin) Hill made a lot of good saves – as did Oscar (Dansk).”
The Pacific Division-leading Roadrunners (34-18-1-2) opened the scoring at 8:26 of the first when forward Kevin Hancock poked home the rebound after Jalen Smereck’s shot from the right point.
The Wolves needed less than a minute to answer as Quinney delivered his 16th goal of the year on the game’s first power play. Curtis McKenzie’s pinpoint saucer pass from below the goal line through the slot set up Quinney’s equalizer at 9:21.
Tucson regained the lead at 13:20 of the second when Smereck lobbed a shot from the left point when traffic outside the crease blocked goaltender Oscar Dansk’s view.
The Wolves forged another tie with 3:56 left in regulation on the power play. Keegan Kolesar banged a shot off the post that hit Zykov’s chest on the rebound, fell into the crease and trickled across the goal line.
Tucson answered with the game-winner just 19 seconds later as Steenbergen backhanded the rebound of a Cam Dineen shot. Jeremy Gregoire added an empty-net goal with 0:26 left.
Adin Hill (13-4-0), who has split his season between the Roadrunners and the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, posted 23 saves to win for the seventh time in his last eight games. Dansk (18-12-3) finished with 26 saves on 29 shots.
The Wolves host Tucson again at 7 p.m. Saturday on American Girl Night. The first 1,000 kids to enter Allstate Arena receive a doll accessory, courtesy of American Girl, and five fans will be randomly selected to win an American Girl doll during the game.