RoadRunners Come Back, Take Series 2-1
After dropping the first game in this series, the RoadRunners (8-1-1) definitely had some work to do if they were going to take the next two games against the Jackalopes (3-5-1). Fortunately, working is their strong suit. In a game that was emblematic of the series as a whole, Topeka fell behind, rallied and held on for a hard earned 3-2 victory.
For much of the first period, it looked like it wasn’t going to be the RoadRunner’s night. Odessa wasted little time in jumping on the board as Pat Thompson scored unassisted at 3:41 to put the Jackalopes on top 1-0. At 10:08, Tyler Cayemberg would add another, sliding the puck past Spencer Viele for a 2-0 lead. Topeka needed a shift in momentum going into the first intermission.
Cue Sean Gaffney.
On a powerplay late in the period, Gaffney powered one past Andrew Pikul to cut the Jackalope lead to 2-1 at 17:33. The RoadRunners hit the ice in the second period with new life. Trace Strahle would capitalize on a shorthanded opportunity at 8:05 to tie the score at two. Just over two minutes later, Drew Kariofiles grabbed the lead, scoring despite Odessa’s extra attacker, making it 3-2 RoadRunners at 10:21.
From there the defense held its own, fighting off a two-man disadvantage in the closing minutes to hold off the Jackalopes and taking the three game series two games to one.
The RoadRunners will contend with a quick turnaround this week as they board the bus for Texas on Wednesday, beginning their two game set against the Tornado on Thursday night at 7:30. Fans not able to make the trip are invited to enjoy the games on Thursday and Saturday at Blind Tiger Brewery and Restaurant. The next game at Landon Arena will be October 19thagainst the Springfield Junior Blues. For more information on tickets, call 785-286-PUCK or visit the Expocentre Box Office.
Topeka RoadRunners: Sean Gaffney (14pts) powerplay goal assisted by Trace Strahle (5pts) and Kevin Patterson (1pts) at 17:33 in the first period. Trace Strahle shorthanded goal assisted by Sean Gaffney and James Ring (5pts) at 8:05 in the second period. Drew Kariofiles (7pts) extra attacker goal assisted by Kyle Sharkey (13pts) and Michal Pastor (8pts) at 10:21 in the second period. Goaltender Spencer Viele (5-1-0, 133 saves, 1.65 GAA) saved 21 of 23 shots on goal. Powerplay: 1 for 6. Penalties: 12 minutes on 6 infractions.
Odessa Jackalopes: Pat Thompson (3pts) unassisted goal at 3:41 in the first period. Tyler Cayemberg (3pts) powerplay goal assisted by Austin Ho (2pts) and Taylor Portner (6pts) at 10:08 in the first period. Goaltender Andrew Pikul (0-1-0, 34 saves, 3.05 GAA) saved 34 out of 37 shots on goal. Powerplay: 1-6. Penalties: 12 minutes on 6 infractions.