The pink ice was shaved back down to white, the pink uniforms were replaced by the regular white ones, but the end result was the same as Topeka rolled to a 5-1 win for the second straight night.
The Albert Lea Thunder seemed determined to get off to a good start, and took a 1-0 lead when Tyler Prihoda found himself with the puck on the doorstep and buried it at 5:34. The ‘Runners tied it up late in the period when Alec Hagaman redirected a Chris Bond shot at 19:07. Albert Lea held the ‘Runners to just 7 shots in the period, but it was all Topeka from there on out.
Early in the second period, the Thunder\’s Petrus Sipila drew a 5-minute major boarding penalty and a game ejection for a vicious hit on Michael Hill in the neutral zone. After going 0-for-10 on power plays in the series, Topeka found the groove scoring twice on that major power play. The first was a dart from Bryce Johnson in the left wing faceoff circle through traffic, then :38 seconds later Alec Hagaman would score again, this time assisted by Ryan White. At 14:03 White added a power play goal of his won and Topeka led 4-1, outshooting Albert Lea 16-7 in the period.
The third period again saw Topeka dominate, outshooting the Thunder 13-2 and scoring once as Patrick Kirtland netted his fourth of the season at 12:46 on the power play. In all the ‘Runners went 4-for-9 on the powerplay, helping elevate them to 2nd in the NAHL in the category. Eric Rohrkemper picked up his second win in nets for the ‘Runners who improved to 10-2-2. The series concludes on Saturday night at Landon Arena. Game time is 7:05 pm.