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EXPRESS SLOWED TO A CRAWL IN TOPEKA

The Owatonna Express came out Thursday evening with speed to spare and took the RoadRunners to overtime before falling 5-4. On Friday, the train never really left the station as Topeka dominated the game convincingly in a 3-1 victory, improving to 10-0-1 in Landon Arena this season.

The \’Runners took a 1-0 lead when Alec Hagaman tipped a Kevin Ryan powerplay shot past Mike Shibrowski at 7:48. Owatonna sharpshooter Dan Cecka responded 4 minutes later, muscling his way through the high slot and firing a shot by Evan Karambelas to knot the contest at 1-1. An aggressive RoadRunner forecheck yielded a turnover at the Express blue line, creating a 2-on-1 break for Michael Hill and Edgars Lipsbergs which Hill converted by rifling a dart upstairs for a 2-1 lead that stood after one period.

In the second, Topeka again ramped up pressure, and locked down their defensive zone, outshooting Owatonna 14-3. The lone goal was an easy finish for Cole Schneider, set up on the power play by Erik Higby and Kevin Ryan. Owatonna was afforded a 5-on-3 power play in the third but the RoadRunners stifling penalty kill held fast en route to posting a 3-1 win in front of 1,672 at the Kansas Expocentre.

Topeka (20-5-3) and Owatonna (15-9-2) wrap up their three game weekend series Saturday at 7:05 pm. The teams meet again in Minnesota in February for a 2-game set.