CHICAGO — The Rochester Lancers’ quest for the Eastern Conference title ended Saturday night.
The Chicago Mustangs scored three consecutive goals to snap a 4-4 deadlock en route to a 7-5 victory at Grand Sports Arena.
The loss meant the best the Lancers (6-4) could finish in the division was second place while the Mustangs (9-1) clinched the division title. The top two teams in the division will reach the post season.
After captain Jake Schindler (two goals) and Timothy Lazorsko had pulled Rochester to a 4-4 tie with 4:08 remaining in the third quarter, the Mustangs broke up the game moments later.
First, Alonso Sandoval tallied to give the hosts a 5-4 edge before Niver Arango struck twice, with 2:34 left in the quarter and with 10:25 to go in the fourth period. Arango finished with a hat-trick.
Michael Cunningham pulled the Lancers within 7-5 with 9:28 remaining, but they could not solve the Mustangs after that.
Rochester led only once in the game at Luis Enrique Hildago scored with 4 with 4:29 remaining in the first quarter before the Mustangs struck twice within a span of 3:09 behind Alonso Sandoval and Fernando Hernandez found the net to grab a 2-1 lead with 11:14 left in the second period.
Schindler tied it at 2-2 with 10:44, but Ryan Ybarra and Arango lifted the hosts into a 4-2 halftime advantage.
Hildago was red carded for a serious foul play with 9:06 remaining in the third quarter.
The Lancers close out the regular season with back-to-back games at the Dome Arena in Henrietta, N.Y. next month. They host the Detroit Waza Flo Friday, March 8 and the Muskegon Risers Saturday, March 9. Both games kick off at 7 p.m.