Runners Comeback Falls Short 4-3
The puck giveth and the puck taketh away. An exciting third period that saw the Runners roar back to tie the game ended in a shootout loss to the visiting Springfield Junior Blues 4-3.
Michael Gambino shot a puck that the net could not refuse at 1:34 in the first period to put the Blues ahead 1-0. Four minutes and two seconds later the Springfield lead grew with Patrick Curry’s goal, sending the game into the second with the Runners behind 2-0.
Midway through the middle frame, Jerad Tafoya cut the lead in half with help from Cash Seraphim and Cody Champagne at 9:20. Cameron Brown would go into the penalty box for elbowing at 13:09, giving the Runners a man advantage and a chance to tie it up. On the ensuing power play, Patrick Curry stole the puck and streaked down the ice stunning Drew Vogler and Topeka with an unassisted short hander that restored their two-goal lead.
With the score 3-1 Blues in the third period, things turned around for the home team. Clint Garris found the net (assisted by Cash Seraphim at 6:25) and Ryan Polin quickly followed with a goal at 9:15 (assisted by Jake Kamrass and Peter Halash) that tied the game at three-a-piece. The score remained knotted until the horn and overtime began.
No score in the extra time led to a sudden death shootout. Springfielder Kyle Shreve notched a goal on the Blues’ first attempt and it was all they would need as goalie Sandro Aeschlimann turned all five Runner penalty shots away. Springfield would take the first game of the two-game series 4-3.
The second game of the series begins tomorrow night at 7pm as the Runners look to salvage a split from the visiting Blues. The first 1,000 kids through the doors before Saturday’s game will receive a special youth jersey courtesy of Pella Window, Vision Bank, Lynette Hudson State Farm Insurance, and the Kansas Expocentre. The National Wild Turkey Federation will also be having a special raffle during the contest. Additionally, Saturday also marks the 1,000 broadcast of the voice of the Topeka RoadRunners, Arch Ecker. And if 5,000 people come to the game, one lucky fan will walk away with $5,000. For more information on tickets, or on the RoadRunners Golf Scramble taking place at Western Hills Golf Course on Sept. 30th, call 785-286-PUCK or visit www.Topekaroadrunners.com.