The Topeka RoadRunners outshot the visiting Texas Tornado 19-0 in the first period en route to a 3-1 win on Friday night.
The scoreless first period showcased the ‘Runners forecheck, and also showcased Tornado goalie Dan Sullivan who was put to work early and often. Topeka controlled virtually every aspect of the period, yet still had nothing to show for it after 20 minutes of play. Texas finally got their first shot on net early in the second period, but on \”Teddy Bear Toss\” night, fans were anxious for a RoadRunner goal to launch their furry offerings. The fans patience was rewarded at 5:28 of the second period when an Alec Hagaman shot squeezed through the blocker arm and body of Sullivan, tapped into the goal by a swooping Partick Kirtland for his eighth of the year and a 1-0 Topeka lead. The ‘Runners lead doubled when another Hagaman shot bounced toward Erik Higby who buried it for the 2-0 edge at 15:15. That\’s when the fight bell sounded and Jake Rombach fought Kevin McLean on the ensuing faceoff, with Rombach opening a cut over his opponents eye. 5 seconds after the following faceoff, Kurtis Anton and Shay Cizmar renewed acquaintances, having fought in the NAHL Showcase when Cizmar was with Fairbanks. The battle was a solid one, and did not disappoint, with both combatants putting forth solid efforts. The period ended with Topeka on top 2-0.
In the third, Topeka struck again at 4:41 with Erik Higby scoring from a difficult angle, again set up by Alec Hagaman, his third assist of the night. Justin Kochan and Scott Deur tussled at 6:07, a scrap the linesmen may have broken up too hastily. As Topeka continued to control the game, they committed one of hockey\’s cardinal sins while on a 5-on-3 power play, that sin being allowing a shorthanded goal, on a breakaway, no less. Justin Jones did the damage for Texas, and the goal lifted the Tornado who flurried the rest of the way, but were unable to score as Topeka held on for the 3-1 win.
Topeka (22-5-3) and Texas (14-13-2) square off once again on Saturday night at the Kansas Expocentre. Game time is 7:05 pm.
· Forward Cole Schneider underwent surgery on his wrist Friday morning. Early reports are encouraging.
· Topeka has now won 5 games in a row, one win shy of this seasons longest streak. The franchise record is 7, attained 4 separate times.
· The RoadRunners improve to 12-0-1 at Landon Arena this season.