On Friday night at the Kansas Expocentre, the Topeka RoadRunners offense erupted for 11 goals (5 of them in a six minute span to start the second period) as they defeated the Tulsa Rampage 11-1.
The RoadRunner defense was stifling for the second night in a row, holding Tulsa to just two shots in the first period. Bryce Johnson scored the lone goal of the period at the 7:17 mark, but in the second period, the wheels came off Tulsa\’s cart.
The buzzer had sounded, the referees came out, the RoadRunners came out, and the Rampage were nowhere to be seen. A linesman went down to their locker room to get them, and they ended up being assessed a bench minor penalty for Delay Of Game. It took Topeka all of :07 seconds to win the draw, race down and score, with Michael Hill getting the score. The floodgates quickly opened as a shot by Harry Quast hit a Rampage player and fluttered up, over, and behind the Rampage netminder for a 3-0 lead. Mike Steele followed at 2:29 to make it 4-0, Erik Higby scored at 4:41 and then at the 6:00 mark, Bob Marx joined the act with a bomb from the point for a 6-0 lead that prompted a Tulsa time out. A minute later, Tulsa took a penalty and it took only :06 seconds for Mike Steele to net his second goal of the game on a tic-tac-toe passing play assisted by Nickolas Gatt and Jeff Burke. Tulsa scored for the first time in the two game series when Topeka got caught in a bad line change coupled with a costly turnover that set up a 2 on 0 break that Shane Khalaf backhanded over the glove of Casey O\’Connor to make it 7-1, but Topeka got it back at the end of the period as Kurtis Anton tipped in a Jeff Burke shot with :38 seconds left in the period. Through two periods, the ‘Runners had 42 shots on goal, holding the Rampage to just 5.
In the third period, Michael Hill scored twice to register the hat trick, and Jake Rombach scored the final tally with 1:11 left to play, bringing the score to 11-1. Shots on goal ended up 51-7 as the ‘Runners defense was as solid as it was effective. Topeka\’s next opponent should provide a good test, as the Oklahoma University Division I club team is laden with NAHL veterans. The OU game is Topeka\’s final preseason tuneup before the NAHL Showcase begins on Wednesday, September 16.