After winning two hard fought battles on the road in St. Louis, the Topeka RoadRunners ran out of track on Sunday afternoon, falling 5-2 to the Bandits in the final game of a three game series.
At 13:10 of the first period, St. Louis scored first as Ryan Belonger fluttered home a rebound over the shoulder of Cooper Frederick. Topeka tied it up less than a minute later as Bryce Johnson blistered a low shot past Garrett Bartus on the long side from the right wing but St. Louis came back with their first multi-goal game of the weekend, scoring a power play goal off the stick of Mike Gunn, a slapshot from the point at 15:33 and the Bandits led 2-1 after one period. Topeka had outshot the Bandits 11-6.
In the second period, the ‘Runners fell behind even further as Craig Kitto jammed home a rebound while driving the net at 9:52, and at 14:24 C.J. Eick\’s backhander went off the body of Frederick and into the net for a 4-1 St. Louis lead. Eric Rohrkemper was brought it to relieve Frederick, and Topeka pulled to within 2 as Cole Schneider blasted a shorthanded slapshot over Bartus\’ shoulder on the short side at 18:37 and the ‘Runners had life heading into the final frame.
In a penalty-laden third period, St. Louis secured the win on a nice passing play that culminated with an Eric Stouffer goal at 14:51 and the Bandits avoid being swept at home. Both teams have the following weekend off. Topeka (13-3-2) returns to Landon Arena to kick off a 4-game homestand starting Nov. 13 against the Wichita Falls Wildcats.
· Jeff Burke was hit hard from behind in Sunday\’s game and was initially feared to have broken his arm. X-rays were, however, negative.
· A Sunday win would have tied the franchise record for consecutive wins at 7, a mark reached 4 times prior to this season.
· Sunday\’s loss ended a 10-0-2 run for Topeka. The franchise record is 14-0-2, set in 2008-09.
· Cooper Frederick took his first loss of the season. He is now 4-1-1, and ranked second in the NAHL in Goals Against Average.
· Cole Schneider continues to impress, leading the team in goals with 10 and tied for second with a +11 rating.