In a series featuring a rematch of last season’s South Division Final, the Brahmas and RoadRunners treated fans to a thrilling game that was eventually won by Lone Star, 3-1.
From the opening faceoff, it was evident this was playoff hockey. Both teams skated with speed and purpose, fired shots and finished checks. Lone Star outshot Topeka 6-4, but the ‘Runners may have had the better chance to score when JB Baker’s shot from the left circle missed up high. The high octane contest was penalty free and scoreless at the end of one period.
The first penalty of the game was against the Brahmas, but Topeka was unable to take advantage. Lone Star took a 1-0 lead at 14:45 when Carson Kelley powered home a crossing pass from Johan Lundgren on a rush after a sequence of great offensive zone pressure by the RoadRunners. The Brahmas closed the period on the power play but Topeka killed it off and the score remained 1-0 at the end of the second period.
In the final frame, Topeka was poised to try to tie the game when they found themselves on a 5-on-3 power play, but Martin Mellberg, fresh out of the penalty box on the first of those two penalties, was able to punch home a short-handed goal at 9:07 for a 2-0 lead. Topeka got right back in the game when Dominic Lutz blistered a shot past the Brahma netminder and it was suddenly a one goal game again. However, just over two minutes later the Brahmas shoveled home a rebound that popped out of Juho Niku’s glove for a 3-1 lead that ended up being the final margin. Topeka was held to just 15 shots on goal as Lone Star rolls to a 1-0 series lead.
Topeka and Lone Star square off in Game 2 of the NAHL South Division Semi Final series on Saturday at 7:30 pm at the NYTEX Sports Center. The game will be streamed live online with FASTHockey.com.