With the ice a bit slow from extra layers of pink lemonade Kool-Aid for Breast Cancer Awareness Night, the pink jersey clad RoadRunners battled through it to defeat the visiting Albert Lea Thunder 5-1 on Thursday night at Landon Arena.
Topeka scored first, the goal coming at 7:29 as Tony Thomas punched in a Nate Milam rebound that squeezed through the pads of the Thunder goalie but came to rest in the crease, his second goal of the season. Albert Lea, despite being outshot 15-5 in the period tied it up on a nifty Petrus Sipila backhander at 18:44, but Bobby Murphy scored his first of the season at 19:21 to give Topeka a lead they would not relinquish.
In the second period, two goals :50 seconds apart gave the ‘Runners a 4-1 lead, with Cole Schneider hammering home a Ryan White rebound at 13:16, and Patrick Kirtland doing the same after a nice toe drag and shot by Alec Hagaman at 14:06. Topeka held Albert Lea to 2 shots in the second period.
The third period brought the games only scrap, as Cory Ramsey battled Petrus Sipila, giving up 4 inches in height and over 20 lbs in girth but holding his own as the two traded shots. If the Thunder had hoped to get a jumpstart from the fight, it backfired because :12 seconds later, Erik Higby scored on a nice setup from Ryan White and Cole Schneider at 1:29.
Topeka (9-2-2) regains a share of first place with idle St. Louis, as Albert Lea takes their 10th loss of the year. The teams meet again Friday night at 7:05 in Landon Arena.