RoadRunners win 4-3
Any chance of getting instant replay in the NAHL? After narrowly avoiding Snow-magedden by traveling to Frisco a day early the RoadRunners slept on the bus, overcame two bizarre goals and defeated the Texas 4-3.
The Tornado held the early advantage as Brandon Hawkins shot off the crossbar was ruled a goal at 7:37. The score remained 1-0 going into the second period where Tyler Groat evened the contest at a goal-a-piece.
Things got a lot more interesting in the third. Drew Kariofiles gave the Runners their first lead of the game with his goal at 7:25 off a rebound from Jake Kamrass. A hooking call on Jerad Tafoya left Topeka a man down at 7:54 allowing the Tornado to capitalize with a Max Shuart power play netter at 8:12. Or did they? Replays clearly showed that the net had been knocked from its moorings before the shot had even been taken but the goal was allowed with little discussion.
With the game tied at two, Tomas Nechala scored his first goal as a RoadRunner and was immediately followed by a Tafoya goal not 30 seconds later (8:37 and 9:05 respectively). At 9:59, Shuart would take advantage of a bad turnover in front of the net to make the score 4-3. The RoadRunners defense, anchored by goalie Spencer Viele, battened down the hatches and rode out the final 10 minutes to secure the Runners sixth straight win.
The loss marks the seventh straight for the Tornado who have fallen behind the Runners by three points in the South Division standings. The two teams will battle again on Saturday night at 7:30pm. Fans in Topeka can catch all of the action at Blind Tiger Brewery and Restaurant but are advised to get there early as seats are limited. The RoadRunners return to Landon Arena on March first against the Wichita Falls Wildcats. One dollar from each ticket sold on that date will be used to help send Officers Gogian and Atherly’s families to Washington DC for the National Police Week Memorial. The Expocentre will match each dollar collected in this effort. For more information on tickets, call 785-286-PUCK or visit the Expocentre Box Office.