Runners falls 4-2 in preseason opener

The Topeka RoadRunners had their first in-game chance to evaluate this year’s potential roster on Sunday evening.

Facing a NAHL South Division foe, the Shreveport Mudbugs, Topeka came out strong but couldn’t keep pace late, falling 4-2.

Topeka rested five of their veterans, who will see action likely on Monday or Tuesday.

“We had a younger group out on the ice tonight,” RoadRunners head coach Josh Kamrass said. “For a lot of the guys, it was their first taste of NAHL action. We haven’t been on the ice long, but I thought we did a good job playing our systems and working hard.”

Chad Hillebrand had the early tally for Topeka, as the RoadRunners took the lead less than 10 minutes into the contest.

“We have focused on defense during practice so far, but our guys were competing hard and came out strong,” Kamrass said.

Shreveport notched the next three goals, before Topeka cut it to 3-2 early in the third period.

“As the game went on, you could see a bit of fatigue,” Kamrass said. “For me, that’s something we need to address and obviously need to get fixed.”

A final marker from Cam Cook sealed the win for the Mudbugs, giving them a two-goal advantage.

Cole  Weaver, the first-round pick for the Runners in the NAHL draft, got the loss.

“Cole has been really good in training camp,” Kamrass said. “I thought he played well tonight and had a good net presence.”

The two teams play the second game of their series tomorrow afternoon at 2:11 p.m.