Runners Win Thrilling Game One 7-5
In a game billed as a battle between the two best goalies in the NAHL, no one expected the slugfest that broke out at Landon Arena Friday night. Twelve goals later, the Runners earned a hard fought victory over the Central Champion Bruins 7-5.
Five Runners tallied two points in this one with two Runners collecting three. Mike Gornall 's first was the game's first score at 2:26 of the opening period assisted by Jasen Fernsler and Daniel Rzavsky. Austin struck back with two goals to take a 2-1 lead but Tyler Poulsen would even it back up with an assist by Jake Kamrass at 11:37. Gornall and Rzavsky added another assist to their totals at 12:19, slipping the puck to Fernsler for a brief 3-2 edge. The Bruins tied it back up wit 14 seconds remaining in the period and the team's went to their respective locker rooms at 3-3.
Earlier in the second, Fernsler flew down the boards with the puck, passing it across to a diving Cody Champagne who clipped it into the net to retake the lead 4-3. But Austin would equalize the game again, screening PJ Bridges on a shot from between the face-off circles at 15:30.
Knotted at four in the third, team captain Jerad Tafoya became the latest playoff hero for Topeka, finding the net off a feed from Daniel Rzavsky to take a 5-4 lead at 3:42. Not 26 seconds later, he struck again, beating Nick Lehr for what would be the eventual game winning netter. The Bruins would pull Lehr with less than two minutes to go, igniting a flurry in the Runners zone until Tyler Poulsen stole the puck between the blue lines, raced down the edge and fed the puck to Jake Kamrass who scored on the empty to sink Austin 7-5.
The Runners and the Bruins lace up for Game Two of the best-of-three Robertson Cup Semi-Finals Saturday night. Fans have a number of options to purchase tickets to Saturday's and Sunday's (if necessary) games. Go to the RoadRunners Facebook page and like the post "Pack the place for Pete," print off the voucher and present it at the box office for three tickets for only $21. Also, the RoadRunners Playoff Package can net you two tickets, two chuck-a-pucks, and two commemorative souvenir programs for just $25. For more information on tickets, call 785-286-PUCK or visit the Expocentre Box Office.