The Topeka RoadRunners traveled to face the Aberdeen Wings on Friday in the first of two preseason games, and lost a briskly played game by a score of 3-1.
Topeka dominated early, outshooting the Wings 7-1 over the first 17 minutes but the first period ended in a scoreless deadlock. Midway through the second period, with the 'Runners in the midst of a line change, a neutral zone turnover created an odd-man rush that Aberdeen's Tyler Bossert fired home at 10:05 for a lead the Wings would never relinquish. At 2:09 of the 2nd period, Aberdeen struck again as Mitch Campbell appeared to redirect a Matt Sherman shot from the point. WIth just over 2 minutes left in the game, Topeka pulled goalie Vladimir Cibulka and with the extra attacker, Max Harper lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Wings goalie Peter Thome with 1:22 remaining, trimming the Wings lead to 2-1. Assists were credited to Quinn Preston and Zack Hoffman. With 1:07 left, Cibulka sprinted to the bench once again and Topeka attacked with six skaters, but as the 'Runners pressed for the equalizer, the Wings were able to clear the zone and Grant Dukus found the empty net with :48 seconds on the clock to secure the 3-1 win. Topeka outshot Aberdeen 24-19 and went 0/2 on the power play. Aberdeen could not convert on their lone power play chance, which came in the second period.
Topeka wraps up their preseason Saturday night in Aberdeen, and will head home to prepare for their home opener on Friday Sept. 11 against Wichita Falls. The WIngs will play a home and home series with Brookings and travel to Fargo to round out their preseason.
ELSEWHERE IN THE NAHL: Wichita Falls was blanked on home ice by the Lone Star Brahmas on Friday, by a score of 3-0. The teams meet again Saturday at the NYTEX Sports Center in North Richlands Hills, TX.