300 wins. That's the landmark the Topeka RoadRunners reached Friday night as they defeated the Springfield Jr. Blues 4-0 at Landon Arena. The team's record since moving to Kansas in 2007 now sits at 300-95-40.
The first period saw Topeka dominate Springfield by outshooting them 16-3 but neither side was able to score. In the second period, Topeka kept their proverbial foot on the gas and outshot the Jr. Blues again 14-5, though in this frame, a pair of RoadRunner shots hit the back of the net. Daniel Brickley got it started, taking a Sam Rennaker faceoff win and slipping between defenders before muscling a shot through the pads of the Springfield goalie at 4:19 for the 1-0 lead. Later in the period, Sly Sutter battled hard on the forecheck while on a penalty kill, forced a turnover behind the net and fed it out front to Mike Gornall who lifted it high over the glove of Niko Dellamaggorie for the 2-0 lead in the final minute of the second. It was just the second shorthanded goal for Topeka this season.
In the third, the games flow seemed to suffer with offside calls, odd bounces in open ice, weird caroms off the walls and icing calls. Topeka added to their lead at 7:47 when Daniel Rzavsky snapped home his team leading 9th goal of the year, a top shelf laser set up in part by an alert pass from Ryan Polin and in part by a bad Jr. Blues line change. On the power play in the waning moments, Sam Rennaker backhanded a sharp offering up under the crossbar with :13 seconds left, providing the final margin. Goalie Matej Tomek, playing in his first game since being injured Oct.12 stopped 14 shots, posting his third shutout of the year.
Topeka (16-5-2) and Springfield (10-11-1) meet again Saturday night and the first 500 youths through the doors will receive a free youth replica RoadRunner Away Jersey courtesy of The National Guard, Performance Tire and Wheel, The Kansas Expocentre, and Vision Bank. Toys 4 Tots will be on-hand accepting toy and monetary donations and there will be a pregame party (5pm) at Jose Peppers where the first 25 fans in attendance will receive a player autographed youth jersey. For more information on tickets, call 785-286-PUCK or visit the Expocentre Box Office.