Frye tallies hat trick, Runners win 5-3

Topeka RoadRunners forward Alex Frye had quite the Friday evening in Soldotna, Alaska.

Aided by a strong performance by Frye, who had a hat trick, the Runners defeated Kenai River 5-3 in game two of three at Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Leading in shots on goal 13-8 in the first period, Topeka (17-30-5) jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage. The first period goals came from defensemen Jay Keranen and Jake Rosenbaum, with second and fourth goals of the season, respectively.

In the second period, Frye got his first of three, as he made it 3-0 at the 5:08 mark. Frye would score Topeka’s final three goals.

Kenai River got on the board at 10:01, as forward Jake Friedman’s shot eluded goaltender Ben Churchfield. Churchfield stopped 27 of 30 shots on the night, for his second victory of the season.

Brown Bears goaltender Colt Hanks made 23 saves on 28 shots, struggling especially in the first two periods.

Frye pushed it back to a three-goal margin late in the second period, with a powerplay goal coming at the 18:50 mark, putting the Runners in the driver’s seat for the third period.

The Brown Bears made it interesting in the final frame, at one point cutting the deficit to 4-3, but Frye nixed any chances of a tying goal at 16:56, making it 5-3.

Physicality also played a role in Friday’s matchup, with the teams combining for 108 penalty minutes.

Topeka looks to win the series on Saturday evening, in the third and final game of the series with Kenai River. Puck drop is at 7:30 AKST, with a start time of 10:30 CDST.