TOPEKA BLANKS BANDITS IN MATINEE WIN
In a Halloween Saturday afternoon matinee game, the St. Louis Bandits got the tricks and the RoadRunners got the treats as Topeka skated to a 2-0 win, solidifying their hold on first place in the NAHL South.
The game, played on a short turnaround after the Friday night RoadRunner win was not quite as fluid in the early stages, though in many ways the first period was a déjà vu of the prior evening, a scoreless with one St. Louis power play, successfully killed off by the ‘Runners. And with both teams using different goaltenders than the night before, it still remained scoreless for over 35 minutes, almost identical to Friday. Again, the ‘Runners had a crucial penalty kill in the second as Ryan White served consecutive minor penalties. Topeka had a great scoring chance while shorthanded on a 2-on-1 break with Erik Higby and Cole Schneider but Schneider couldn\’t get the puck to lay flat and shot it just wide. As the penalty kill expired, Higby and Schneider again broke free for a 2-on-1 break and this time Schneider blasted it home past Tyler Bruggeman for a 1-0 lead. It was Schneider\’s ninth goal of the season in just his eleventh game, surpassing Alec Hagaman and Edgars Lipsbergs who each have eight.
In the third period, the Bandits couldn\’t stay out of the penalty box as Topeka had 5 power plays, though only two were of the full 2:00 variety. The backbreaker was an elbowing call against Bandit captain Dan Olszewski at 18:43. Shorthanded, the Bandits pulled Bruggeman for the extra atacker but Kevin Ryan hit the empty netter at 19:37 for his second goal of the year and a 2-0 margin that ended up being the final. Eric Rohrkemper improved to 3-0-0 with a 1.90 GAA, turning aside all 21 shots he faced.
Topeka (13-2-2) closes out their 3 game road swing with a 2:00 game Sunday afternoon in St. Louis.
· The last time St. Louis lost 2 in a row in regulation was Nov 21-22, 2008, losing a pair of games in Topeka by scores of 4-2 and 3-2.
· The last time St. Louis lost 2 in a row at home was Jan. 9-10, 2009, both to Topeka. A 4-3 shootout loss followed by a 3-2 OT loss.
· The last time St. Louis lost 2 in a row at home in regulation was Dec 1-2, 2006 vs So. Minnesota Express. (3-2, 6-0). It\’s the only other time it\’s happened since the franchise relocated to St. Louis from Texarkana.
· After struggling in games played in Chesterfield for a couple of seasons, Topeka has gone 5-2-1 in the last 8 regular season games in the Hardee\’s Iceplex.