RoadRunners offense goes flat on 3-game road trip

SHREVEPORT, La. – Shreveport’s Erik Zohovs scored twice and goaltender Dylan Lubbesmeyer turned in a strong performance Sunday afternoon as the Mudbugs upended the Topeka RoadRunners 4-1 in NAHL action at Hirsch Coliseum.

The loss capped a tough weekend for the 6-10-1 RoadRunners as they scored only a single goal in each of their three games against NAHL South opponents. Friday night, the RoadRunners were outshot 43-13 en route to a 4-1 road loss to the Lone Star Brahmas. The next evening Topeka at least captured a point on the stellar goaltending of Ryan Snowden, forcing a 1-1 game into overtime and a shootout before the Brahamas escaped with a 2-1 win.

Sunday’s game had the RoadRunners carrying much of the play, outshooting the hosts over the first two periods. But it was Shreveport forward Frankie Melton who put the hosts up just as a Mudbug powerplay was ending, sending a wrister from 20 feet out past Topeka goalie Mike Rockwell 12 minutes into the first period.

Alex Frye, however, tied the game with :01 second left in the period as he collected a pass from Will Schlagenhauf and made a nifty move around Lubbesmeyer.

The Mudbugs scored what proved to be the game-winner just 39 seconds into the second period as Zohovs was allowed to walk into the slot and beat Rockwell with a tough shot to the short side from 15 feet out.

Kieran Durgan made it 3-1 when he walked around a Topeka defender and then Rockwell, finishing with a tough-angle shot just inside the post with just under seven minutes remaining in the period.

Rockwell (35 saves) held the fort in the third when the Mudbugs outshot the RoadRunners 16-6, and Zohovs finished the scoring with an empty-netter with :45 seconds left in the game.

On Saturday night, the RoadRunners rebounded from a lackluster performance the night before, using Snowden’s strong performance (33 saves, 2nd star) and Marcus Russell’s third-period goal to send the contest into overtime, and eventually a shootout.

The RoadRunners do not return to action until Nov. 4 when they return to North Richland Hills and again face the Lone Star Brahmas for a two-game series. Topeka’s next home game is Dec. 2 when the RoadRunners host Kenai River.