The Topeka RoadRunners got a solid performance from goalie Matej Tomek who turned aside 27 shots en route to his first US junior hockey shutout as Topeka downed the Johnstown (PA) Tomahawks 4-0 in front of a good crowd on Thursday morning in Blaine, MN.
Daniel Rzavsky fluttered a power play shot into the top corner at 15:59 of the first period to put Topeka on top, following a clean face off win by Jasen Fernsler. Topeka led 1-0 after 20 minutes.
In the second period, Mike Gornall netted a power play goal of his own at 11:13, cleaning up the rebound of a Daniel Brickley shot from the mid-point. Jasen Fernsler forced an offensive zone turnover on a 4-on-4 situation later in the period, then fed a crisp pass to Ryan Polin who clanged it home off the blocker side pipe for a 3-0 lead that held at the end of two periods.
Topeka put themselves in a jam, taking a 5 minute major penalty followed by a minor penalty that set up a full two minute 5-on-3 power play for Johnstown that spilled over into the third period. Tomek and the 'Runners weathered the storm, and less than a minute after killing it off, Yu Hikosaka backhanded a high shot to the back of the net, set up by a tenacious forecheck by Dawson DiPietro and Tyler Irvine. Johnstown closed out the final 1:07 on their sixth power play but were unable to solve Tomek, who posted his first shutout of the young season.
Topeka (4-0-0) will face the Michigan Warriors (0-2-0) on Friday at 5:00 pm CDT. The game will be broadcast live on SportsRadio 1490 KTOP in Topeka with pregame airing at 4:45 pm. Fans can catch all of the action streaming live at The Lazy Toad Restaurant. Saturday's 6:45pm game will be hosted by Skinny's Sports Bar & Grill.