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RoadRunners suffer road sweep at Springfield

 SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Newly acquired Springfield goaltender Mike Robinson stopped 43 of 44 shots and teammate Brandon Puricelli scored twice Saturday night as the Springfield Jr. Blues posted a 4-1 victory over the Topeka RoadRunners, finishing off a weekend sweep of their NAHL rival at Nelson Center.

Robinson, who previously played for the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints, was large Friday night as well as he turned aside 30 Topeka shots en route to a 5-3 victory over the RoadRunners. In that game, the Jr. Blues raced out to a 3-0 lead, only to have the RoadRunners rally in the second period. Alex Frye scored his ninth of the season with an assist from Trevor Zins, and less than a minute later Brendan Doyle scored his second with help from defensemen Jake Rosenbaum and Jack DeMatteo to make it 3-2.

After Springfield’s Zachary Tyson gave his team a little cushion at the 12:50 mark of the second, Topeka’s Marcus Russell scored his ninth of the season to again make it a one-goal game. Springfield, however, scored the only goal of the third period on Ryan Liebold’s goal 2:48 into the third.

Ryan Snowden faced 44 shots in the opener, finishing with 39 saves. Snowden was in goal in the series finale Saturday night and didn’t get much offensive help as the hosts again ran up a 3-0 lead with goals in the first, second and early in the third periods. Russell managed to score his 10th of the season with 2:16 remaining in regulation, but Springfield’s Ryan Long added an empty-netter in the final minute to finish the scoring.

Springfield raised its record to 12-11-1 on the season, while the two losses leaves the RoadRunners’ record at 8-13-2 in the NAHL South Division. Topeka, which hasn’t played a home game since October, returns to the Kansas ExpoCentre next weekend with home games against Kenai River Friday and Saturday. Start times for both games are 7:05 p.m.