The longest game in RoadRunner history ended in a disappointing defeat on Monday night, as the Wichita Falls Wildcats seized a 2-1 win in double overtime to clinch the South Division title in three straight games. It's the third consecutive season that Topeka has ended their season with an overtime loss at home. (2015 – Division Finals vs Lone Star, and 2014 – Robertson Cup Semi Finals vs Austin).
For the third straight game in the series, Topeka got on the board first. Johnny Walker sent a long angled pass off the right wing boards, which was collected by Max Harper in stride. Harper entered the zone, curled, and fired a backhand pass to Marshall Bowery who buried a backhander for the 1-0 lead at 5:48 of the first period. Later in the same frame, a RoadRunner zone clear attempt was held in by Aleksi Poikola who snapped a crossing pass to Austin Beaulieu who buried a crisp shot low on the glove side past a lightly screened Tyler Johnson and at 12:53, the game was tied at a goal apiece.
It stayed that way through the second period, and the third. Penalties were few, and non-existent after the second period. For the RoadRunners, the trip to overtime was their third this postseason, and for the Wildcats, their first. Topeka has won both prior overtime games, and came into the extra session primed and ready.
Topeka’s best push came in the first overtime, as they outshot Wichita Falls 14-9, but the two Division I committed goalies gave no ground, and this game would head to a second overtime for just the second time in the RoadRunners 12 year history.
The RoadRunners appeared to have better jump and momentum as the game moved into its fifth period. That was until a Jeff Baum shot slapped off the glass behind the net and Andre Pison tapped a backhander that crept through the pads of Tyler Johnson, sealing both the game and the series for the Wildcats.
Wichita Falls will advance to the Robertson Cup Tournament in Edina, MN next week with the three other division winners, yet to be determined. Topeka now begins the process of preparing for the 2016-17 season, with their pre-draft camp set for Somerset, WI in three weeks.