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Odessa scores four in the third, downs Runners 6-1

After an impressive offensive output on Friday night, the Topeka RoadRunners could not replicate their performance Saturday.

Instead, Topeka fell flat, falling 6-1 at Eckor County Coliseum.

Topeka trailed 2-0 entering the final frame. They appeared have life early in the third, opening with a goal from forward Max Harper at 3:08 to make it 2-1 Odessa.

For Harper, it was his 20th goal of the season, with forwards Will Schlagenhauf and Marshall Bowery notching assists.

Four consecutive goals by Odessa after Harper’s goal doomed the comeback effort.

“We didn’t  have the fire tonight,” RoadRunners head coach Josh Kamrass said. “We didn’t bear down on the puck, and we lost on our one-on-one battles.”

Just a minute after Harper’s goal, at 4:09, defenseman Zac Hermann’s second goal of the season pushed the Odessa lead back to two goals, making it 3-1.

Forwards Peyton Frantti and Zach Zech then tallied their 13th and 14th goals of the season, respectively, at 11:25 and 14:15 of the third, putting the game out of reach at 5-1.

With just 13 seconds left, forward Ludwig Stenlund salted the wound, as his rang a shot off the post and past goaltender Ben Churchfield, making it 6-1.

“We didn’t move our feet consistently tonight,” Kamrass said. “We need to be a team that plays as the aggressor, and we didn’t do that enough.”

Odessa outshot Topeka 30-28 in the contest, with Churchfield stopping 24 shots and goaltender Jonny Hogue stopped 27 of 28 for Odessa.

The Jackalopes opened the scoring midway through the first Saturday, with forward Zach Heintz making it 1-0 at 12:25.

After being outshot 14-8 in frame one, Topeka outshot Odessa 15-5 in the second period, but they could not find an answer to Hogue.

The 1-0 Jackalopes lead held until Odessa doubled its lead at 19:08 of the second period. Forward Chase Thudium poked a shot past Churchfield, making it 2-0 at second intermission.

Topeka now travels to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where they will play Feb. 10-11 against the Springfield Jr. Blues in a neutral site home game for Topeka.