TOPEKA, Kan. – The Springfield Jr. Blues erased a two-goal deficit by scoring four times in the third period – three by forward Brennan Blaszczak – and went on to a 4-2 NAHL victory Friday night over the Topeka RoadRunners at the Kansas ExpoCentre.
The Jr. Blues (4-7) found themselves down 2-0 after 40 minutes of play and couldn’t solve Topeka goaltender Ryan Snowden (40 saves) despite heavily outshooting the 5-8 RoadRunners. But Springfield finally broke through by taking advantage of some shaky Topeka team defense – scoring on three consecutive 2-on-1 breaks within a two-minute span – that turned the game around.
Just over five minutes into the third, Springfield cut its deficit in half as Blaszczak scored his 5th goal of the season by beating Snowden with a low wrist shot. Only 77 seconds later, it was Ryan Leibold finishing off another 2-on-1 break, and 39 seconds after that Blaszczak scored what proved to be the game winner with yet another odd-man rush.
Blaszczak completed his hat trick at the 12:02 mark of the third with a power-play goal to finish the scoring.
The RoadRunners, outshot 15-8 in the opening period, killed off a pair of Springfield power plays in the first period and gained the lead halfway through the period. Max Harper, with an assist from center Christian Sanda, converted on an offensive-zone faceoff and had his hard wrister trickle through Springfield goalie Devin Cooley (24 saves).
Topeka made it 2-0 6:53 into the second period when Brendan Doyle scored his first goal of the season, taking advantage of a crease scramble and shoving a rebound past Cooley. Nigel Nelson and Artem Nekrasov assisted.
The two teams finish their weekend series with a 7:05 p.m. game Saturday at the ExpoCentre.