The Topeka RoadRunners defeated the Fairbanks Ice Dogs 5-3 on Friday at the NAHL Showcase for their second win in a row.
Topeka came out firing on all cylinders and dominated play through the first 20 minutes, outshooting the Ice Dogs 13-3. It wasn\’t until the final two minutes of the period before the ‘Runners got on the board. Edgars Lipsbergs scored at 18:05, assisted by Erik Higby and Michael Hill, then Martin Sundstedt followed at 19:20 assisted by Patrick Kirtland and Chris Bond. Topeka led 2-0 after 1. In the second period, the Ice Dogs rallied to tie the game, with Mark Pustin scoring at 2:13 through traffic and Matt Millis knocking in a weak side rebound at 13:19. However, with time winding down in the period, Michael Hill jammed home a loose puck on the doorstep as time expired in the period. The Ice Dogs contested the call and the officials conferred, but the goal stood, giving the RoadRunners a 3-2 lead after two. Topeka again dominated in terms of shots on goal, this time by a 17-7 margin.
Fairbanks tied the game at 3-3 on a power play goal by Jared Larson at 2:59 of the third. What turned out to be the game winning goal was scored by Patrick Kirtland when he dodged an attacking defenseman by spinning his body 360 degrees, pushing the puck just past the defender, then taking about two strides into the zone before blasting a shot from the top of the circles over the blocker of the Ice Dog netminder for a 4-3 lead. Alec Hagaman sealed the win with an empty net goal at 19:00 after a nifty flip pass from Tony Thomas.
Topeka (2-1-0) closes out their Showcase schedule against the Wenatchee Wild (5-0-0) on Saturday before heading home.