Ryan White (12) scored twice including the game winner and Brian Christie (26) added a goal and 4 assists as Topeka thumped Amarillo 6-3 to force Game 4.
After falling behind 3-0 in the second period, the Topeka RoadRunners crafted an impressive comeback, scoring 6 unanswered goal en route to 6-3 win to force a Game 4 in the best of five series.
Topeka and Amarillo entered Thursday’s game as a combined 5-0 in the playoffs when scoring the first goal of the game, so there was a small concern when Amarillo got on the board first at 4:36 on an Omar Mullen goal. The Bulls got a huge break at 6:54 when a shot from the left point changed direction three times before bouncing into the net off a RoadRunner body. The Bulls led 2-0 at the end of the first period.
The ‘Runners had to kill a couple of penalties and did so successfully including one that carried over into the second period. The Bulls however pulled ahead 3-0 when Mullen stuffed home his second goal of the night at 3:43. Topeka got a jumpstart when they scored a power play goal at 8:45 of the second, their first of the series after starting 0 for 13 with the man advantage. Trace Strahle scored the goal from the midpoint, assisted by Brian Christie. Just 1:03 later, Christie scored on the short side from close range, set up by strong work on the boards by Andrew O’Leary and Richard Young. And then, :28 seconds later the comeback was complete when Sean Gaffney fought his way into the Bulls zone and dropped the puck off to Ben Bahe who sharply fired a pass across to Chris Bond on the left wing. Bond advanced to the top of the circle and blistered a slapshot past Mike Taffe on the stick side and the game was suddenly tied at 3-3, with Topeka scoring three goals in just 1:31. The game was still tied at the end of the second period.
In the third period, Topeka had an early power play but didn’t score. At 5:33, Ryan White blasted his first goal of the postseason over the blocker of Taffe, assisted by Brian Christie and Topeka had their first lead of the night. Kyle Sharkey netted a power play goal at 12:09 after Amarillo got caught with too many men on the ice, assisted by Christie and Bahe. For good measure, Ryan White walked off the left wing boards and fired a wrister upstairs at 16:42 for the final 6-3 margin. Peter Traber turned aside 22 shots in posting his fourth playoff win. Brian Christie led the way offensively with a goal and four assists on the night.
Topeka trails Amarillo 2 games to 1 in the best of five series and they face another must-win in Friday’s Game 4 at Landon Arena at 7:05. Tickets will be available at the Expocentre Box Office for just $1.00 apiece beginning 10:00 am Friday morning. If necessary, a Game 5 will be played Monday night in Amarillo.