Runners Blank-A-Lopes Again 7-0
Thursday night saw Topeka impose their will on both sides of the ice. On Friday night, they owned it. A scoring onslaught and an impenetrable defense spurred the Runners to an impressive 7-0 win over the Jackalopes, their second shutout in as many games.
The game-winner came at 7:47 of the first when James Ring (assisted by Jake Kamrass and Jerad Tafoya) bested Yoshihiro Kuroiwa, giving Topeka a 1-0 lead they would never relinquish. A roughing call on Mathieu Briand at 9:47 opened the door for Kamrass’ power play netter (assisted by Peter Halash and Tyler Poulsen) 11 seconds later to make it 2-0. That power play goal was the first of four on the night for the Runners on only five chances. Sly Sutter and Mike Gornall worked the puck to Jasen Fernsler for another goal at 15:59 to close out the scoring in the first 3-0.
And then the game got out of hand.
Frustrations hit a boiling point early in the second when a bench brawl broke out on the Odessa side, sending Brandon Vuic, Tyler Groat, Clint Garris, Chris Taff, and Ian Mansfield to the penalty box for an assorted list of infractions. Topeka killed off the penalties and notched their second power play goal at 7:53, this time courtesy of Ryan Polin (assisted by Cody Champagne and Poulsen). Later, Sutter netted the puck on another man-advantage, taking the feed from Fernsler and Gornall at 17:28 to make it 5-0 Runners after two.
What little drama was left in the third was stamped out by Poulsen 25 seconds into the final frame. With help from Tomas Nechala and Avni Berisha, Poulsen split the posts for the team’s sixth goal of the night. Odessa provided the Runners another power play at 3:42 which paved the way for Andrew Roye’s goal (assisted by Sutter and Fernsler), giving Topeka their final score of 7-0. Offensively on the night, 11 Runners collected points and seven different players notched a goal. Defensively, the RoadRunners were as strong as they’ve been all season. When the puck actually made it on net (only 15 shots-on-goal by the Jackalopes), PJ Bridges was a wall as he posted his third shutout of the season and second of the series.
Each team will lace up again Saturday night as Shriners Weekend concludes at Landon Arena. After the game, the Runners will auction the jerseys off their backs with a portion of the proceeds going to the Topeka Arab Shriners. For more information on tickets, call 785-286-PUCK or visit www.TopekaRoadRunners.com.