The Topeka RoadRunners never led the entire weekend until the final shot of Game Two, but it was enough to bring the series home to Topeka even at a game apiece and effectively steal home ice advantage.
For the second night in a row, Lone Star held an edge in shots on goal in the opening period, though Topeka clearly had made some adjustments to create more opportunities. Lone Star thought they had taken a 1-0 lead on a shot that went off the pipe and was initially washed out by the referee, though the goal light did go on. After a brief consultation, the call on the ice stood as no goal. Moments later, the Brahmas got one to stick as Carson Kelley backhanded a rebound behind Juho Niku at 6:03 and Topeka trailed 1-0 when the first buzzer sounded, outshot by the Brahmas 16-7.
In the second period, Topeka ramped up the pressure and the momentum shifted the opposite direction. Topeka went on a power play and Luka Maver cashed in to put the ‘Runners on the board at 5:28, assisted by Dominic Lutz and JB Baker, and for the first time in the series, Topeka outshot the Brahmas, by an 8-4 margin.
The third period was hard hitting, tight checking, and full of action at both ends of the rink as both teams laid it all out on the ice, blocking shots and sacrificing the body for every ounce of opportunity, but as the clock hit zeroes, the game remained tied at a goal apiece.
Headed to sudden death overtime, Topeka had a quality chance just seconds into it but Sami Tavernier’s shot was turned aside and over the glass. The game winner came when Quinn Preston backhanded the rebound of a Shawn Brennan shot at 5:52 to win the game and tie the series. Juho Niku made 28 saves to pick up the 2-1 overtime victory.
The series now shifts to the Kansas Expocentre, where Topeka and Lone Star will meet in Games 3 and 4 of the NAHL South Division Semi Final series on Friday and Saturday at 7:05 pm in Landon Arena. The games will be streamed live online with FASTHockey.com, and broadcast in the arena at 88.9 FM.