The assignment for the RoadRunners on Friday was to come out hard and fast and keep the foot on the throttle. Mission accomplished, as Topeka manhandled the Springfield Jr. Blues for 60 minutes on Friday night en route to an 8-2 victory.
The ‘Runners offensive zone pressure yielded a 1-0 lead when Erik Higby tipped in a Jacob Poe shot at 1:27 of the period, his 8th of the year. Edgars Lipsbergs stuffed in a wraparound attempt at 8:57 for a 2-0 advantage. Springfield scored on a power play to cut the lead in half, a Nick Curry goal at 10:41 and the score was 2-1 after one, though Topeka\’s dominance was evident, outshooting the Jr. Blues 22-4, not allowing a shot until almost 7 minutes into the game, and the other 3 all coming on a power play.
Captain Kurtis Anton notched his third of the year at 4:00 of the second, then Nate Milam added a shorthanded breakaway goal at 9:04, setup by a turnover created by Tony Thomas. Cole Schneider added a powerplay tally at 12:21, his team leading 11th of the season. Outshooting the Jr. Blues 15-5 in the second and 37-9 overall, Topeka held a commanding 5-1 lead after 2.
In the third period, Topeka came out flying again, with Michael Hill burying his 6th of the year on a powerplay at 1:35. The Jr. Blues showed a glimmer of life when Jared Rickord redirected a sharp Trent Frey pass in the net on the powerplay at 4:49 to make it a 6-2 game, but Topeka was relentless, finishing the win with a goal from Bryce Johnson at 13:27, keeping his goal scoring streak alive at 4 games. Martin Sundstedt buried his fourth of the year on a power play at 17:00 for the final 8-2 margin. Topeka outshot Springfield 53-15 overall, and Cooper Frederick picked up the win
Topeka (15-3-3) improves to 7-0-1 on home ice and faces Springfield again Saturday night. The ‘Runners remain in first place 4 points ahead of St. Louis, who also won.