RoadRunners Fall in Shootout 2-1
In a game devoid of any real drama and punctuated by the most anti-climatic finish in all of sports (i.e. The Shootout), the RoadRunners (8-1-2) fell to the Tornado (9-0-0) in a battle of South Division leaders 2-1. Topeka did manage to stifle the vaunted Texas offense for three periods and overtime, ensuring a tie atop the standings, but was unable to answer the Tornado’s fourth shootout attempt.
Any scoring at all had to wait until the second period as Brandon Hawkins flipped the puck over the shoulder of a shifting Mackenzie Sawyer to give the Tornado a 1-0 lead at 7:19. The goal by Hawkins marked only the third power play goal allowed by the RoadRunners this season.
Kyle Sharkey knotted the score with his own power play goal, assisted by Sean Gaffney and Kevin Patterson at 14:17 in the second period. The score would remain 1-1 through the third period and the final horn of the overtime frame.
“The goaltending and defense have been outstanding,” said Head Coach Scott Langer. “We have to find ways to score. Goals don’t come easy at this level, it takes the willingness to sacrifice.”
And the shootout was a prime example. Michal Pastor netted the first attempt of the shootout but Texas answered immediately with one of their own courtesy of Scott Conway. The goalies combined to turn away the next five shots until Mitchell McPherson found room around Sawyer to take the lead. Kyle Sharkey was then stonewalled by Hunter Leisner and the game was over.
The loss drops the RoadRunners into a tie in points with the Tornado for the South Division lead (18pts). Regardless of the outcome of this series, one of these teams will leave the weekend sitting in first place.
The RoadRunners and Tornado will get back at it on Saturday night at 7:30pm. Fans in Topeka are invited to come out to Blind Tiger Brewery and restaurant for the RoadRunners Away Game Viewing Party. Following that game, the RoadRunners will return home to face the Springfield Junior Blues on Friday, October 19. For more information on tickets, call 785-286-PUCK or visit the Expocentre Box Office.
TOPEKA ROADRUNNERS: Kyle Sharkey (14pts) powerplay goal assisted by Sean Gaffney (15pts) and Kevin Patterson (2pts) at 14:17 in the second period. Goaltender Mackenzie Sawyer (3-0-2, 125 saves, 1.55 GAA) saved 23 out of 24 shots on goal. Powerplay: 1 for 4. Penalties: 10 minutes on 5 infractions.
TEXAS TORNADO: Brandon Hawkins (12pts) powerplay goal assisted by Jackson Leef (10pts) and Anthony Mousseau (8pts) at 7:19 in the second period. Goaltender Hunter Leisner (7-0-0, 186 saves, 1.81 GAA) saved 21 out of 22 shots on goal. Powerplay: 1 for 3. Penalties: 22 minutes on 7 infractions.