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RoadRunners complete 1st day of Chicago camp

BENSENVILLE, Ill. – The Topeka RoadRunners finished off their opening day of their final NAHL camp of the summer on Thursday, putting more than 40 goaltenders through workouts that lasted over six hours at The Edge Ice Arena.

The RoadRunners, who are searching for two new goaltenders after Finnish goalie Juho Niku aged out and Tyler Johnson committed to the University of Maine following the 2015-16 season, have candidates who should fill the void.

“We are happy with the group that we brought into camp here,” said Topeka GM Joe Clark, who also coaches the goalies for the RoadRunners. “It was a grind for them today, but the games start on Friday and we will cut down to 20. They know it’s a very competitive situation, and they are hungry. Every team needs to have competition like this. It’s important.”

After the Topeka staff picks the top 20 goalies in camp, games are scheduled to begin Friday morning. The camp will include a field of 10 teams, which will also see the RoadRunners returning veterans in action. The training camp will culminate with an All-Star game Sunday morning.

“We are excited to see the skaters show us what they have now,” said Topeka Head Coach Josh Kamrass. “We know there will be surprises, and no different than the goalies, it will be very competitive. There are positions on this team at stake, and they know it.

The RoadRunners will launch their 2016-17 season in September, and players are expected to report to Topeka the final week of August.

“We expect our team to be very competitive again,” said Kamrass. “We have a tremendous tradition to uphold with the RoadRunners and our fans. We might be a bit younger this year, we still don’t know, but we need to continue to be among the elite in the NAHL South. That’s what we strive for.”