An overtime goal by Vladislav Kolyachonok gave the Tucson Roadrunners (6-3-0) the extra point Friday night in a 4-3 win over the Ontario Reign (5-4-1) at Toyota Arena. The Reign scored twice in the third period to force the extra session with goals by Tyler Madden and Brandt Clarke, who tied the game during a 5-on-3 power play.
Ontario’s first goal came in the opening period from Martin Chromiak, who netted his fourth tally of the season. Former Reign goaltender Matt Villalta earned the win for Tucson with 20 saves.
Tucson took the lead for the first time at 12:05 of the first on a strike by Max Szuber, who was open for a shot from the slot that sailed into the top part of the goal.
Chromiak evened the game four minutes later with a tally from just inside Tucson’s blue line that made it 1-1. Assists on the play were credited to defenders Cole Krygier and Steven Santini.
The Roadrunners went back in front during the middle period when Aku Raty netted the lone goal of the frame at 10:38.
Tucson extended its lead to 3-1 just 52 seconds into the third when Justin Kirkland scored his first goal of the season.
But the Reign got back within one moments later at 2:42 when Madden snuck a shot by Villalta after a deflection off a Roadrunners’ defender. TJ Tynan set up the strike, while Jacob Moverare accounted for the second assist.
Clarke tied the game back up at 3-3 with his third goal of the year which came on the man-advantage at 10:10 of the third from Mikhail Maltsev.
Neither team registered a shot on goal for the remaining 9:50 of the third. The next chance on net was Kolyachonok’s winner on the first shot of overtime at 1:11 of the extra session.
The Roadrunners had a slim 24-23 shots on goal edge in the game, with Ontario goaltender David Rittich turning out 20 attempts in a losing effort. Clarke’s strike was the lone power play goal of the contest as the Reign went 1-for-4 on the man-advantage and Tucson came up short on their only opportunity.
Postgame thoughts from head coach Marco Sturm and Madden are below.
On tonight’s loss
It was a tough start, probably the worst 20 minutes I’ve seen since I’ve been with the Reign. We were just flat and not ready to play and compete. It took us a long time to wake up. The third period was more like us, but still far away [from where we want to be]. We were lucky to get a point.
On adjusting to mistakes
The good thing is that this is all on us. We can complain and look at each other or whatever we want, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to look in the mirror and ask yourself “did I do everything to be the best player I can be, or to win, or to be good teammate?” I don’t think we had too many guys going, especially in the first 20 to 30 minutes.
On Tyler Madden’s night
We need more from him, right? He’s not a young kid anymore. He’s a guy who also has high hopes and dreams, but to achieve those dreams, you’ve got to work. It’s not easy and you’ve got to compete. You’ve got to be the difference every night and he got better as the game went on.
On playing the next four games at home
I think its always nice to be at home. Those games are important, We want to be a good home team and have a good home record, but again, it doesn’t matter how you feel at home or away. If you’re not ready to play and if you’re not 100% sure if you’re all in, it doesn’t matter. It’s between your ears and that’s what we have to fix.
Ontario and Tucson meet again Friday night at Toyota Arena for Hockey Fights Cancer Night beginning at 7 p.m.