BLAINE, Minn. – Forward Max Harper scored a pair of goals and goaltender Mike Rockwell turned aside 30 shots Saturday afternoon as the Topeka RoadRunners powered past the Northeast Generals 6-1 in the final game of the NAHL Blaine Showcase at the Schwan Super Rinks.
The RoadRunners finished the showcase with a 3-1 record, topping it off with a 50-shot performance against the NAHL expansion Generals.
“I was impressed with the tempo we played with for the entire tournament,” said Topeka Head Coach Josh Kamrass. “Playing 7 games in 10 days is never easy, and I really thought we might fade a bit in the late going, but it didn’t happen. This was the most physical team we’ve played, and I like the way we responded.”
Despite the edge in shots on goal, the RoadRunners had some difficulties early on. After forward Peyton Frantti put Topeka up 1-0 at the 13:44 mark of the first, the Generals continued to test Rockwell early, pumping 14 shots at the 6-foot-5 goaltender – beaten only by Northeast forward Mike Egan’s breakaway goal.
“Mike had a good weekend in Blaine,” said Kamrass. “He was big and calm and weathered storms very well. He faced some heat and competed well.”
Winger DJ Busdeker scored what proved to be the winning goal halfway through the second period, beating Northeast goalie Stephan Gasior on a wraparound. Seven minutes later, Andrew Hart scored his third of the season and the RoadRunners were on their way. They finished with 20 shots on goal in the second period.
It was more of the same in the third. Marcus Russell netted his third of the season 1:52 into the third, and Harper finished with his first two goals of the season three minutes apart. Harper finished with three points on the day, while Hart and Frantti finished a goal and an assist each.
The RoadRunners return home next weekend with games at the Kansas ExpoCentre Friday and Saturday nights ( 7 p.m.) against Amarillo.