The Topeka RoadRunners played well enough to win on Friday, dominating almost every aspect of the game but came up short in a 4-3 loss. On Saturday, the ‘Runners work ethic yielded a 2-1 win over their long time rivals, the Texas Tornado.
Topeka avoided the lackluster first period that hurt them on Friday by outshooting Texas 15-7 in the opening stanza, yet still found themselves trailing 1-0 as Justin Jones got behind the ‘Runner defense and slipped a backhander past Evan Karambelas who was playing his first game in nearly two months. Texas led 1-0 after 1.
Another RoadRunner who had missed some playing time returned to the lineup with a bang. Alec Hagaman, who had scored a goal on Friday in his first game back in over a month, added two in the second to give Topeka their first lead of the weekend. The first came at 5:59 of the second on the power play, assisted by Erik Higby and Kevin Ryan. He scored again at 9:15 after Cole Schneider pokechecked the puck away from a Tornado forward, feeding Hagaman for what proved to be the game winner. Topeka outshot Texas 20-4 in the second period, and led 2-1.
In the third, Texas got a bit of pressure, and took advantage of a slowly depleting ‘Runners bench, with both Cole Schneider and Ryan White out with undisclosed injuries incurred during the game. The ‘Runners defense held fast, however, preserving the 2-1 win.
Topeka (18-5-3) maintains sole possession of first place and heads home to start an 8 game homestand with three games against the Owatonna Express on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.