After losing a 4-3 game on Friday in a game head coach Scott Langer felt his team acted \”disinterested\” for two periods, the focus was back on hockey for the Saturday night rematch and the \’Runners posted a solid 5-2 win to earn a split on the weekend.
Eric Rohrkemper was given the assignment of backstopping the RoadRunners and averting the teams first back-to-back losses of the year. He found himself trailing 1-0 at 5:43 of the first period when Ross Andersen slid a low shot past him on a full steam rush up the right wing. Topeka tied it up, though, less than two minutes later when Kurtis Anton fed a sharp pass to Erik Higby streaking up the right wing, his shot eluding Andrew Martin at 7:30.
Early in the second period, the Jr. Blues took a 2-1 lead on a gorgeous play set up by Andersen who fired a crossing pass to Dustin Pederson on the back door on a full speed rush just 1:31 in. Topeka, however, had the answer in the person of Cole Schneider who willed himself and the puck to the net, fending off a Springfield defenseman and with one hand directed the puck past the goalie to tie the game at 2-2 at 10:50. Schneider wasn\’t done yet, as he set up the go-ahead goal at 14:18, rifling a pass to Erik Higby who tipped it in for his second of the game. Topeka led 3-2 after two periods, but the most remarkable thing was Topeka outshooting the Jr. Blues 16-5 in the second period despite being shorthanded for 6 of the 20 minutes and having no power plays of their own.
The RoadRunners dominance continued into the third period, adding two goals to cement the win, the first a powerplay goal by Cole Schneider at 4:08 assisted by Michael Hill, then Hill assisted yet another tally, a Bob Marx shot from the right point at 18:11 for the final 5-2 margin. Outshooting Springfield 35-15 for the night, it was clear that Friday nights defeat was a mistake, one that had been corrected by the joint effort of coaching staff and players.
The RoadRunners (17-4-3) now head south to Frisco, TX to face the Texas Tornado on Friday and Saturday nights. The Tornado (12-10-2) swept two road games in Wichita Falls over the weekend, moving into third place in the NAHL South, percentage points ahead of Springfield.
* ROADRUNNER RAMBLINGS
- Forward Cole Schneider is fourth in the NAHL with a +15 rating.
- Erik Higby and Cole Schneider are tied for 10th in the NAHL in scoring with 25 points each.
- The \’Runners boast the leagues most potent offense at 4.25 goals per game.
- Forward Erik Higby has a streak of 7 goals in his last six games, tied for longest such streak in NAHL this year.
- Topeka has allowed only two shorthanded goals this season, both to Texas.