Runners stymied by Mudbugs, fall 4-1

The Topeka RoadRunners had a difficult time with the NAHL South’s current best team on Friday night.

Tied at one after one period, Topeka (8-14-2) could not keep up in the second and third periods, dropping Friday’s tilt 4-1 at Landon Arena.

Shreveport (16-4-2) outshot Topeka 9-2 in the second period and took a 3-1 lead into the third.

While Topeka developed several more chances in the third, Shreveport kept Topeka limited on its puck possession and forecheck.

The MudBugs finished off Topeka with a tally at 16:19 of the third.

“I thought we came out hard early and really played our game,” RoadRunners head coach Justin DeMartino said. “For whatever reason, in the second period and much of the third period, we got away from that. We took some undisciplined penalties, and we need to clean that up.”

In the first period, Shreveport took an early 1-0 lead, as forward Kieran Durgan beat RoadRunners goaltender Emil Gransoe.

Forward Nick Schultze notched his fifth goal of the season at 11:27, evening the game at one. Schultze fired the shot at the net from a side-angle, and the puck deflected off a MudBugs player, beating goaltender Gustavs Grigals.

At the end of the third period, fisticuffs ensued when Shreveport forward Brendan VanSweden and Topeka defenseman Matt Barnes clashed. Topeka forward Nick Granowicz was also involved in the play, which took place with just two seconds remaining in regulation.

Topeka and Shreveport will finish their two-game series on Saturday night, which is Parents Night at Landon Arena, with many players’ families in town.

“We felt a little disrespected there at the end, and our guys are going to come out ready to play tomorrow night,” DeMartino said.