The Topeka RoadRunners got up a little early on Friday morning to face a pesky Alaska Avalanche team and battled through some adversity to post a 2-1 win and remain perfect on the season.
A 10:00 am faceoff meant a 6:00 am wakeup call to get ready for a 7:00 pregame meal and 7:30 bus departure to the Schawn Super Rink to stretch and prepare for a game. The well groomed and fed RoadRunners arrived at the arena right on time and when the puck hit the ice just after 10:00 am, they were ready.
The 'Runners outshot Alaska 16-6 in the opening stanza and scored the periods only goal, a shot from Cory Ramsey at the right point on the power play at 7:06 assisted by Bob Marx and Nate Milam for the 1-0 lead, the third straight game in which Topeka has scored first.
In the second period, Alaska knotted the score at 1-1 when Jacob Barber's power play shot was initially stopped by Eric Rohrkemper but as players crowded the crease Rohrkemper was pushed backward and the puck slid in across the goal line after the whistle but was counted as a goal despite protests to the contrary. The game was tied at 1-1 after two periods.
In the third, it was a hard fought battle with 14 minor penalties assessed and it was during a Topeka power play that the game winning goal was scored, a scorching shot on the power play by Justin Hussar set up nicely on a crossing pass from Zach Schrotenboer who was set up by Michael Hill. The 2-1 lead was enough for Topeka to win the game, though Alaska misfired on two premium chances late in the game with a power play and the extra attacker with the goalie pulled. Eric Rohrkemper posted his second win of the season, stopping 19 shots.
The RoadRunners (3-0-0) wrap up their Showcase schedule on Saturday with a 12:30 pm game against the Janesville Jets (5-0-0). The game will be simulcast on fasthockey.com ANDcountrylegends1069fm.com.
* Forward Kevin Novakovich had his unofficial 8-game scoring streak (including preseason) snapped when he left the game in the second period with an upper body injury and did not return.
* The youngest player on the roster, Justin Hussar leads the 'Runners in goals this season with 4.
* Forward Michael Hill is tied for second in the NAHL with 5 assists.