Runners gearing up for the regular season

With all three preseason games in the books, the Topeka RoadRunners have used the last few days to learn more about the makeup of this year’s team.

While each game resulted in a loss, Topeka focused on solid defense and physicality, which resulted in fisticuffs by the middle part of the second game against Lone Star.

“I thought our guys played extremely hard,” RoadRunners head coach Josh Kamrass said. “One thing we preached was how hard Lone Star plays and how you have to match that intensity. We didn’t back down and stood up for each other.”

In the third period of Tuesday’s contest, Topeka pulled within a goal at 3-2, seemingly having the momentum. The Brahmas, however, had other plans, scoring 18 seconds after the Runners’ second goal. They went on to win 4-2.

“That’s what makes them a championship team: they respond to adversity,” Kamrass said. “Playing a team like that this early really gives us a good challenge.”

While Topeka struggled to create quality scoring at times, Kamrass said he isn’t worried about his team’s ability.

“The offense will come with time,” he said. “Our focus this weekend was on being a good defensive team, and I was happy with that. We’re still a new group, and as we gel, the offense will come.”

RoadRunners assistant coach Justin DeMartino also had his first chance behind the RoadRunners’ bench the past few nights, giving him an opportunity to mesh with the roster.

With attention now turning to the home opener on the 15th, the team will have ice at the Kansas Expocentre from now through then.

The team will make a couple of public appearances prior to this time. Some of the staff and players will be present this weekend at the annual Huff-N-Puff balloon rally at Lake Shawnee. Season ticket holders can also have an opportunity to meet and skate with the team on Sept. 13 from 6-8 p.m.