Wildcats rally past RoadRunners, 5-4

TOPEKA, Kan. – Jonathan Bendorf’s 11th goal of the season with 3:39 remaining proved to be the game-winner Saturday night as Wichita Falls outlasted Topeka 5-4 in NAHL action at the Kansas ExpoCentre.
Max Harper’s 12th goal of the year halfway through the third period gave the RoadRunners a 4-3 lead, but it was short-lived. The Wildcats went on a power play just 21 seconds after Harper’s goal and Ilya Skvortskov made the hosts pay, beating Mike Rockwell from 20 feet out in the slot. Rockwell had entered the game at the start of the third period after starter Ryan Snowden exited with an upper body injury. Five minutes later Bendorf made it 5-4 with help from Skvortskov and Ricky Carbello.
The teams traded goals in each of the first two periods. With the RoadRunners trailing 1-0, Topeka forward Peyton Frantti tied the game with assists from Alex Frye and Jack DeMatteo. In the second period Marshall Bowery (Johnny DeRoche and Matt Barnes) put the RoadRunners on top halfway through the period, but six minutes later Wichita Falls Steven Tillie knotted things up.
The see-saw game continued in the third as Skvortskov scored 1:52 into the period, only to have Frye – with help from Will Schlagenhauf – beat Wildcats goalie Jared Dempsey with a nice move from close range barely a minute later.
Wichita Falls finished with a 33-32 edge in shots on goal, and went 1-for-2 on the power play. The RoadRunners went 0-for-1.
The two teams conclude their three-game series Sunday afternoon. Game time is 2 p.m.