Balanced scoring attack leads RoadRunners to 7-3 win

BLAINE, Minn. – The Topeka RoadRunners jumped out to a 4-1 lead and never looked back Thursday, using goals from seven different players and a 45-save performance from goaltender Mike Rockwell en route to a 7-3 win over Coulee Region at the NAHL Showcase.

It was the second straight Showcase win in Blaine for Topeka, which now sits at 2-3 overall in the NAHL South.The RoadRunners play Game 3 Friday morning at 10 a.m. before wrapping up the tournament Saturday at noon.

After RoadRunner forward Peyton Frantti scored his first goal in a Topeka uniform at the halfway mark of the first period, Coulee Region’s Joey Sofo knotted the game by beating a screened Rockwell from 20 feet out. But the RoadRunners responded in a big way, scoring three times in just over two minutes for a three-goal cushion on goals from DJ Busdeker, defenseman Jack Nickels and forward Marcus Russell.

The Chill cut their deficit to 4-2 just two minutes into the second, but rookie defenseman Ryan Dickinson scored his first goal of the season only 50 seconds later to create a 5-2 lead. Newly acquired forward Alex Frye made it 6-2 before the end of the period.

Topeka managed to extend the lead to 7-2 halfway through the final period as captain Marshall Bowery made a nifty goal-line move the deked around Coulee Region goalie Pavel Pavliukov. The Chill finished the scoring with only three seconds left in the game as Larry Jungwirth was left all alone in the slot the beat Rockwell with a low wrister.

Coulee Region finished with a 48-41 edge in shots on goal in a game that featured only two minor penalties call – one for each team.

Dickinson finished as Topeka’s top scorer with a goal and two assists, while defenseman Jake Rosenbaum and forwards Andrew Hart and Max Harper had two assists each.